Montclair Film and Montclair Art Museum Launch 2020 Reel Abilities Film Festival

Montclair, NJ – Montclair Film and Montclair Art Museum (MAM) announced the launch of their collaborative 2020 ReelAbilities Film Festival NJ program on Monday, presented in partnership with Montclair State University with generous funding from the Kessler Foundation.

ReelAbilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the US dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories, and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities.

The films, which include Q&As with filmmakers and subjects, are available beginning today, October 26, 2020, on the Montclair Film Virtual Cinema, and run through Sunday, November 1, 2020. Tickets for each film are $10 for the public, $8 for MAM and Montclair Film Members.

Tickets and instructions for viewing films on Montclair Film’s Virtual Cinema can be found at Montclair Film’s Virtual Cinema is powered by Eventive and is the same platform and ticketing process utilized during the recent Montclair Film Festival, with each film available to screen via mobile and desktop web browsers, as well as the Montclair Film app for Apple TV and Roku devices.

The Films

Directed by Ben Stamper
USA/ 49 Min
Open Captioned

Justin, a Montclair-based artist with autism, lives with a mind filled with movie animations and cartoon characters that are expressed with incredible nanoprecision on paper and shared with others through exhibitions and lessons. This film leads us through Justin’s story of learning social norms and professional etiquette, securing employment in New York City and navigating an unpredictable future, as he aspires to the goal of independence by his 25th birthday.

Pre-Recorded Q&A with director Ben Stamper and subjects Justin Canha and Maria Teresa Guanabara to follow. 

Directed by Michael Attie
USA/ 13 Min
Open Captioned

Carl and Susan, husband and wife, scientist and artist, navigate the challenges of Carl’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis in this beautiful love story that documents their relationship and their artistic collaboration through an unexpected medium.

Available Monday, October 26 through Sunday, November 1, 2020
Pre-Recorded Q&A with director Michael Attie to follow. 

Directed by Jerry Rothwell
USA/ UK/ 82 Min

Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe. Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape; narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. The film distills these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say. Available Monday, October 26 through Sunday, November 1, 2020.

Directed by Kevin Nulty
USA/ 55 Min

Imagine waking up paralyzed at the age of 15…no accident, no injury, and no trauma. It was just your time. Sounds like a nightmare, right? Not to Scott Chesney. It was a blessing in disguise. Start seeing life in a new perspective and join him on his journey of self-discovery that has taken him all over the world. This is a story of hope, challenges, resilience, courage, family, friends, love, and gratitude. Scott continues to the navigate life’s peaks and valleys…and he wants the world to join him!

Pre-Recorded Q&A with director Kevin Nulty and subject Scott Chesney to follow.
Available Monday, October 26 through Sunday, November 1, 2020

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