Cinetalk has been a little quieter than usual at this time of year. It may appear that a worldwide pandemic has devastated the arts world. But in fact, many festivals and arts communities have been working to continue their projects by other means.

Not unlike many seasonal events, the ReelAbilities Film Festival comes to us this year as a virtual festival. From May 20th to May 24th, the now-online event will screen films about disability, or more affectionately – different abilities.

Films by and about the Deaf and disabled community are accompanied by Q&A sessions and workshops. How does a festival charge admission to an online event? Easy-peasy. You can watch the films for free, with a pay-what-you-can suggested price if you’d like to support the festival and its artists.

All films include audio descriptions, captions or subtitles. In addition, all activities will have interpreters. Workshops span the topics of inclusive content creation, employment and social enterprise, and even pitching project ideas to the CBC.


As artist Aiden Lee says, in his short From My Side of The Spectrum, why can’t we all be unique with a variety of colors, shapes and perspectives? During a very strange time in our lives, it would be inspirational to think that COVID19 has indirectly brought us all a little closer to that goal.

As we try to collaborate with neighbors, friends and strangers to make life a bit more manageable, Lee’s concept is all the more relevant. Our differences through this unfortunate virus seem a little bit smaller when we notice we are all at risk and all play a part in coming out of isolation, to what will hopefully be a smarter, more tolerant and accepting world.

Since Cinetalk did not want to give away any spoilers, we will be joining global online audiences to be part of the festival together. As we say in hashtag language lately, #wereinthistogether #cavabienaller and #stayhome 😉

Even so, we did go to the trouble of preparing a little preview about what to expect. Have a look at some of our best picks here!


ReelAbilities Film Festival – May 20th – May 24th, 2020 – online, worldwide.