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The JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center is hosting the first ever Colorado-based ReelAbilities: Denver Film Festival, May 5-8, 2021.

The entirely virtual festival includes diverse and thought-provoking films alongside supplemental content including discussions and panels by, for, and about people with various disabilities. To continue their dedication to inclusivity, the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center will provide several accessibility features for films and the supplemental content to ensure the festival can be enjoyed by everyone.

“We are excited to bring ReelAbilities to Colorado, and we’re honored to be the newest host site of the festival,” said Amy Weiner Weiss, the director of festivals at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center in a statement. “Through ReelAbilities, we have the opportunity to highlight a robust catalog of films that connects us to fellow presenters all around the world. Hosting ReelAbilities: Denver allows us to not only bring this important programming to our own community, but it helps shine a light on the importance of inclusivity and the organizations doing this work locally.”

To ensure the festival is inclusive and accessible to everyone, both films and supplemental programs will include the following:

  • Open captions: English-language subtitles that depict narration, dialogue and any sound cues are built into all film files. All spoken content (introductions, filmmaker Q&As, and supplemental programs) will be pre-recorded and captioned.
  • Audio description: Narration describing visual elements for the blind and visually impaired are built into every program as separate catalog listings.
  • All spoken content will be pre-recorded and offer ASL interpretation.
  • “Pay What You Can” Ticketing: All festival content will be offered in a “pay what you can” format to allow participation of all interested community members at any ticket price that is accessible to them.
  • All festival content will be offered virtually and on-demand for home access at any time of day to users across the U.S. during the entirety of the festival. This format offers flexibility to those with limited mobility, who require sensory friendly environments, or who might require additional time to enjoy programs.

The presenting sponsor of ReelAbilities: Denver, Jane E Rosenbaum, is supporting the festival with an individual gift and with a gift via Danielle’s Fund for Special Needs, which was created for her daughter with autism. To connect the festival to local audiences, the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center partnered with several community organizations including Phamaly Theatre Company, Jewish Family Service, Firefly Autism and Colorado Conservatory of Dance/Art as Action. The festival, and all JCC Mizel Arts and Culture programming, is supported by Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

To learn more about the festival, visit jccdenver.org/reelabilities.

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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