BACKBONES hosted the ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago on October 3-8, 2017. Our theme this year was LIGHTS, CAMERA, TAKE ACTION! with the goal of mobilizing our attendees to take action beyond the films.
We hope you were able to join us, but for those who didn’t – here’s a recap!
REELABS TUESDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2017
We partnered with Chicago’s own Kartemquin Films for the very first ReeLabs! Six LOCAL independent filmmakers with disabilities or making a film about disability were selected to screen their work-in-progress to members of the Kartemquin and disability community for a feedback and critique session.
OPENING NIGHT WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2017
Shorts Program Birthday (16 min.) – A severely wounded Marine returns home to his wife after months of surgery and rehabilitation. Children of God (10 min.) – A young amputee bets his prized possessions on his crush winning the boys vs. girls soccer match. I Don’t Want to Go back Alone (17 min.) – A 15 year-old blind teenager and his best friend face issues of jealousy and other new feelings when they befriend a new kid in their class. Welcome to the Last Bookstore (11 min.) – A day in the life of a bookstore owner—a father, husband, small business owner, and paraplegic—showing the store’s magnetic appeal to the community.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017 At Eye Level (100 min)
When 11-year-old Michi finds his estranged father’s address, he can’t believe his luck, but when they meet and Michi discovers that his father, Tom, has dwarfism, Michi and Tom are forced to confront both disability and fatherhood head on.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2017 Short: Beyond Blind (3 min.) – Chicago dramatist Todd Bauer, who is blind, talks about how he writes his plays. Do You Dream in Color? (76 min.)
The poignant coming-of-age story of four teens who navigate the growing pains of high school, but, unlike most teens, face another challenge—they are blind. Through their personal stories, we learn of the experience of being blind and how these fearless teenagers navigate through it.
Enter the Faun (67 min.)
The unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy delivers astonishing proof that each and every body is capable of miraculous transformation. It challenges the boundaries of medicine and art, as well as the limitations associated with disability. Photos – Inclusive Dance Workshop with Momenta
My Feral Heart (83 min.)
A sudden bereavement throws Luke, a fiercely independent young man with Down Syndrome, into a care home, where his frustration finds release in unexpected friendships and the revelation of long-buried secrets.
CLOSING NIGHT CELEBRATION SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2017 Deaf Jam (70 min.) ASL poetry changed Aneta Brodski’s life. Poetry, friendship and respect transcend politics as Aneta finds herself in an unexpected collaboration and bold journey into the spoken word slam scene.
Performance & Reception following the film
THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS, PARTNERS AND SPONSORS WHO MADE THIS EVENT A SUCCESS!