Home IT management ReelAbilities Set To Launch Streaming Service Dedicated To Disability-Related Films

ReelAbilities Set To Launch Streaming Service Dedicated To Disability-Related Films

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ReelAbilities Set To Launch Streaming Service Dedicated To Disability-Related Films

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ReelAbilities, the organizer of the largest film festival in the United States devoted to celebrating the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities, has announced that it will be launching a brand-new streaming service.

Set for a soft launch in July, ReelAbilitiesStream.org will feature many of the films from previous years of the iconic festival which dates back to 2007 when it was founded in New York by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan.

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Designed to coincide with Disability Pride Month and developed with the support of The Neilsen Foundation and JP Morgan Chase’s Force For Good technology program, the new service intends to pair its unique cutting-edge diverse content with a gold-standard level of digital accessibility. Naturally, this will entail captions and audio description – with an additional series of innovative accessibility features to be revealed at launch.

Access to the extensive catalog of award-winning disability-themed movies and documentaries by and about people with disabilities will come at an affordable price point with pay-per-view ranging between $1.99 to $3.99.

In today’s streaming ecosystem dominated by the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney where unique content is arguably easier to make than ever before but all too often drowned out amidst the din of streaming wars competition and the battle for eyeballs – ReelAbilitieStream should serve as a welcome boon for the marginalized disability community.

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Comprising 15-20% of the global population but often inauthentically represented, if represented at all in front of and behind the camera, disabled artists and filmmakers have long been crying out for a show of collective strength and presence.

Though disability-focused collectives for the film and TV industry do exist like diversity-centered Los-Angeles based talent management agency C Talent and indeed ReelAbilities itself, providing a year-round home and easy access to stand-out disability-related content is a further step beyond.

By housing content under one roof and one banner ReelAbilitiesStream should significantly aid with visibility and discoverability. Not only will those interested in the disability community now be able to more readily access diverse and authentic content but the new resource should also serve as an excellent educational resource for budding filmmakers wishing to benchmark what has gone before in the space.

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In relation to the 2023 edition of the countrywide festival, the New York hub saw a record-breaking 5000 attendees and 100 guest speakers from all over the world during the seven-day event which ran from April 27 to May 3, making it the largest and most successful of its kind to date.

As well as showcasing groundbreaking features such as Juan Felipe Zuleta’s indie narrative Unidentified Objects and OKAY! (The ASD Band Film), which follows four talented autistic musicians who come together to form a band, the 15th annual ReelAbilities Festival offered a great deal more besides.

There was a ceremony honoring CODA’s Troy Kotsur as the recipient of the ReelAbilities 2023 Spotlight Award, a two-day summit focusing on accessibility across the performing arts sector, discussion panels and a first-of its-kind comedy night hosted at Gotham Comedy Club which featured disability sketches, improv and stand-up performances.

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ReelAbilities has just put out a call for submissions for next year’s festival which is due to run from April 4-10 2024.

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