Group of teens at preview event
Monday, March 1, 2021

ReelAbilities Film & Arts Festival: UP Abilities

Group of teens at preview event
Monday, March 1, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Schedule

Speakers: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Q&A: 8:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Event Overview

ReelAbilities Film Festival Logo

Join us for the 2021 ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival

ReelPeople: UP Abilities, in partnership with The UP Experience, features presentations from two extraordinary speakers that will open a window into the world of disabilities with both intimacy and urgency.

Speaker Name: Ali Stroker

Ali Stroker won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her role as ‘Ado Annie’ in Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! She most recently starred in the Lifetime holiday film, Christmas Ever After. Ali made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. She starred in 12 episodes of The Glee Project, winning a guest role on Fox’s Glee. She recurred in the ABC series, Ten Days in the Valley and guest starred on Freeform's The Bold Type, Fox’s Lethal Weapon, CBS’ Instinct, The CW's Charmed and Comedy Central's Drunk History.

A humanitarian and advocate, Ali has been a co-chair of Women Who Care, which supports United Cerebral Palsy of New York City. She's a founding member of Be More Heroic, an anti-bullying campaign which toured the country connecting with thousands of students each year. Her devotion to educating and inspiring others brought Stroker to South Africa with ARTS InsideOut, where she held theater workshops and classes for women and children affected by HIV and AIDS

Ali has performed her cabaret act at Green Room 42 and soloed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, New York’s Town Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. Her mission to improve the lives of others through the arts, disabled or not, is captured in her talk: “Turning Your Limitations into Your Opportunities.”

Speaker Name: Dan Habib

Dan Habib is the creator of award-winning documentary films including his most recent film Intelligent Lives, and his previous documentaries Who Cares About Kelsey?, "Mr. Connolly Has ALS," Including Samuel (which focuses on his own son Samuel, who has cerebral palsy), and many other short films on disability-related topics.

Dan’s films have been broadcast nationally on public television stations, nominated for Emmy awards, and translated into 17 languages for use as teaching tools worldwide. Dan and his films have been featured on NPR's “All Things Considered,” People magazine, “Good Morning America,” and Education Week.

In 2012, Dan received the Champion of Human and Civil Rights Award from the National Education Association, and in 2013 he received the Justice for All Grassroots Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities. In 2014, Dan was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities—a committee that promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

Dan shares how an inclusive education and social life has prepared his 20-year-old son Samuel for transition to higher education and employment, as well as the powerful impact that inclusion has on students and adults without disabilities. In his talk “Disabling Segregation,” Dan makes a powerful case for ending the systemic segregation of people with disabilities. 

ReelAbilities: Houston Film & Arts Festival is a FREE city-wide film and arts festival dedicated to presenting films, art exhibitions, performances, and speakers which celebrate the lives, stories, and talents of people with disabilities.   Everything is designed to educate the Houston area community and help change perceptions about individuals with disabilities.

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The ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival promotes inclusion and celebrates the lives, stories and talents of people with disabilities.
Group of teens at preview event