reel uplifting

Inspiring Houston film, art, and music festival showcasing triumph over disability celebrates 10 years

Houston film-arts festival showcasing triumph over disability returns

Christine Ha Masterchef Blind Goat Xin Chao
The acclaimed, award-winning chef Christine Ha stars in the ReelPeople: UP Abilities program. Christine Ha/Facebook

For 10 years, the ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival, has promoted inclusivity and celebrated the lives, stories, and talents of people with disabilities. 

Last weekend, the tenth-anniversary festivities kicked off with the ReelArt festival opening at Sabine Street Studios. (There will also be a ReelArt Crawl at Meek Studio & Gallery on Thursday, February 10.)

Here’s what else you can expect from the uplifting programming:

ReelPeople: UP Abilities kicks off on Tuesday, February 15, and feature well-known experts in their field who live with different abilities. Hear their compelling stories about how these different abilities have impacted their lives and learn a few things along the way.

Experts include Josh Blue, a comedian with cerebral palsy who was also the winner of Last Comic Standing. Locals will recognize Christine Ha, the first blind contestant and winner of Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef. She also owns and operates two restaurants in Houston, the Blind Goat and Xin Chao, which won the 2021 CultureMap Tastemaker Award for Best New Restaurant. Mike Veny, best-selling author and expert on mental health and emotional well-being, will also be on hand.

ReelWorkplace takes place on Thursday, February 17, and cover The State of Disability Employee Engagement in 2022. This is a must-see for those in the human resources space and for anyone who cares about a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. It will feature Global Disability Inclusion's Meg O'Connell and Mercer-Sirota's Peter Rutigliano.

ReelMusic rocks out at Bayou City Event Center Pavilion on Wednesday, February 23. This free concert promises a diverse array of talented musicians.

And of course, there will be a full lineup of ReelFilms, 15 features and shorts that will be available to view virtually, including the opening-night double feature Telos and Keeping the Chaos Together (both locally produced/directed films) on Sunday, February 20. These will be available from Wednesday, February 16, to Thursday, February 24.

For more information, tickets, and full schedule of events, visit the ReelAbilities Houston website.