Effective February 4, 2022, all members, guests, and staff must show proof of coronavirus vaccination in order to enter the building. Please email a copy of your vax record to IgotMyShot@theJ.org ahead of the start date to ensure a smooth transition.

ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia

ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia is dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities.

Each year, this dynamic festival, powered by the Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, presents both domestic and international award-winning films paired with interactive programming that gives us a new perspective and highlights the vibrant personalities, realities, and extraordinary abilities of people. Through film, art, and discussion, ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia brings together the community to explore, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. 

The 2022 ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia is pleased to offer our audience the opportunity to enjoy films in community at the Pozez JCC and in venues throughout the region, as well as the opportunity to engage virtually, from anywhere you have access! To attend an event in-person, find the “Tickets” link under the film of your choice. To help venues keep to pandemic-imposed limits on audience size, tickets must be reserved in advance, and no tickets will be available at the door.


Thursday, February 3, 2022, 7:30pm
Hosted by: Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia
Screening Location: Pozez JCC, 8900 Little River Tpk., Fairfax, VA 22032
Click here for the venue’s Covid-19 protocols


Directed by Kaveh Taherian, Andrew Richey
100 Min | English | United States | 2018 | Documentary

A look at the sparkle and struggles of the Prospector Theater—a nonprofit movie theater in Connecticut with a mission of meaningful employment for people with disabilities.




View Trailer
Attend In-Person
Attend Online

Streaming Dates:  February 3-10

Streaming Dates: February 1-6
Virtual Panel Discussion:
Sunday, February 6, 2pm
Hosted by Temple Rodef Shalom


Directed by Michael Parks Randa, Lauren Smitelli
80 Min | English | United States | 2020 | Narrative

Sage (Shannon DeVido) and Anthony (Ricky Wilson, Jr.) had the best summer ever after falling in love at summer camp. By a twist of fate, Sage arrives unexpectedly at the same high school as Anthony at the start of the new school year. Now faced with the drama of cliques, an evil cheerleader, and the illegal secret that keeps Sage’s family on the move, they are forced to re-evaluate their relationship. This history-making musical features eight original songs and a fully integrated cast and crew of people with and without disabilities.

View Trailer

Attend Online


Panel Discussion: Behind the Scenes and On Screen with "Best Summer Ever"Sunday, February 6, 2022, 2-3pm

ILA HALBY, Co-Founder and Director of Zeno Mountain Farm, Executive Producer and Casting Director for Best Summer Ever.

AJANI “A.J.” MURRAY, actor and advocate. A.J. plays Kevin in Best Summer Ever. Other film and television: Bigger Than Us (2021), Speechless (2018) Becoming Bulletproof (2014), Drunk History (2013), Bulletproof (2012).

Create an account at raffnv.filmfestivalplus.com to screen films and watch the panel discussion. To watch the panelists, login by 2pm on February 6, click the event, and the link will be live!


Sunday, February 13, 2022, 3pm
Hosted by: Beth El Hebrew Congregation, in partnership with Agudas Achim Congregation
Screening Location: Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22304

Click here for the venue’s Covid-19 protocols


Directed by Ying Wang
116 Min | Mandarin, English | Canada | 2020 | Documentary

What would you do if your only child died mysteriously in another country and was buried in your absence? The World Is Bright follows the epic 10-year journey of an elderly Chinese couple searching for the truth behind their son’s death in Canada. What starts out looking like a murder mystery becomes something else entirely—a rare revelation about immigration, mental health, and a Kafkaesque bureaucracy at the heart of global migration.

 View Trailer

Attend in Person
Attend Online

Streaming Dates: February 13-20


Helpful Resources

Mental Health Resource List

Shape of the Region Conference – Finding our Way Back to Mental Health


Streaming Dates: February 20-27
Hosted by Congregation Olam Tikvah


Directed by Cheng Chao
14 Min | Chinese | China | 2018 | Narrative

A group of young boys are fascinated by a girl who spends her days looking out the window.






Directed by Rasko Miljkovic
86 Min | Serbian | Serbia/Macedonia | 2018 | Narrative

10-year-old Jovan’s world is shaken up by a new classmate, who invites him on a spectacular adventure. But in order to become a true hero, like those he daydreams of, Jovan must learn to accept himself and his life with cerebral palsy.




View Trailer
Attend Online


Saturday, February 26, 2022 (In-person)
Activities start at 6pm: emotional movement and sensory coloring!
Film starts at 6:30pm
Hosted by: Imagination Stage
Screening Location: Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
Click here for the venue’s Covid-19 protocols


Directed by Pete Doctor and Ronnie Del Carmen
95 Min | English | United States | 2015 | Narrative

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

View Trailer

All are welcome to take part in this free event with many sensory tools available for all participants. Break spaces, flexible seating, glow stick cues, fidgets, and more will be available for use. A social story will be distributed to confirmed attendees and made available on the Imagination Stage website approximately a week before the event. Our trained staff members and volunteers will be on hand to connect patrons with resources and ensure the best experience for all. The film begins at 6:30 p.m. but attendees can arrive at 6:00 p.m. for some pre-movie free activities including an emotional movement activity and a sensory coloring activity!

Attend In Person

CLOSING NIGHT: Streaming Only

Sunday, February 27, 2022
Hosted by: Pozez JCC of Northern Virginia

Click here for the venue’s Covid-19 protocols


Directed by Yang Sun, S. Leo Chiang
81 Min | Chinese | China | 2019 | Documentary

Maleonn is one of China’s most influential conceptual artists. When his father, the former director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Theater, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Maleonn pours everything into an ambitious new theater project, “Papa’s Time Machine.”

View Trailer

Attend Online

Streaming Dates: February 27-March 6



Silver Sponsor






Bronze Sponsor





Promotional Partners:

Alzheimer's Association
The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia
Edlavitch DCJCC
Jake’s Sweet Ice Cream
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington

Show your support of this remarkable disability awareness program by joining the ReelAbilities Film Festival Family! Bring a group, volunteer at the films, or start a conversation about sponsorship opportunities. Contact Michelle.Pearlstein@theJ.org.

Learn more about ways to partner with us!


ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia Committee

Dawn Kaye, Festival Chair
Harold Belkowitz
LaRue Cook
Sandi Delavante
Joan Ehrlich
Nancy Reder
Bill Rosen
Michael Toobin


ReelAbilities International

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. Founded in NY in 2007, the festival presents award-winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city.

Since then, ReelAbilities events have been held in over 20 cities across the world – transitioning from ReelAbilities North America to ReelAbilities International. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. Since its start, ReelAbilities has consistently received an increasing number of outstanding film submissions from around the globe.



ReelAbilities strives for inclusion and offers many accommodations. All films are captioned or subtitled (unless otherwise noted) and all venues are wheelchair accessible. We also offer audio description, open captions, and ASL interpretation for select events upon request. 


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©2021 Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax, VA 22031
Phone: 703.323.0880 • Fax: 703.323.1993

Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. EIN: 54-1145849

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