ReelAbilities promotes awareness of different disabilities
(Long island, NY) ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival @ Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre promotes awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities
Sunday, February 12
In Person: Writer/Director Justin Lerner & Star Evan Sneider
Evan (Evan Sneider) is a young man with Down Syndrome living with his mother. When he unexpectedly comes into a large amount of money, Evan uses it to romantically pursue Candy, whom he has loved since high school.
4:15pm: MUSICAL CHAIRS
In Person: Screenwriter Marty Madden
This sexy, pulse-pounding romance, directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan, The Boynton Beach Club) is set in the scintillating, competitive world of wheelchair ballroom dancing
3:15pm: Reception open to ticket holders for both programs; $9 Members / $13 Public / each film, includes discussion & reception. (Double feature: $14/Members; $22/Public) Tickets can be purchased online, www.CinemaArtsCentre.org at the box office during theatre hours or by calling Brown Paper Tickets toll free at 1-800-838-3006
On Sunday, February 12, two feature films from the Fourth Annual ReelAbilities Film Festival will be screened at Cinema Arts Centre. GIRLFRIEND, screening at 1pm, followed by a discussion with writer/director Justin Lerner and star Evan Sneider, is about a young man with Down Syndrome living with his mother; when he unexpectedly comes into a large amount of money, Evan uses it to romantically pursue Candy, whom he has loved since high school. At 3:15 there will be a reception for both films. MUSICAL CHAIRS, screening at 4:15 pm with screenwriter Marty Madden, is a sexy, pulse-pounding romance, directed by Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan, The Boynton Beach Club) set in the scintillating, competitive world of wheelchair ballroom dancing. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave, Huntington 631-423-7611 www.CinemaArtsCentre.org $9 Members / $13 Public / each film, includes discussion & reception. (Double feature: $14/Members; $22/Public) Tickets can be purchased online, www.CinemaArtsCentre.org at the box office during theatre hours or by calling Brown Paper Tickets toll free at 1-800-838-3006
ReelAbilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different disabilities. Initiated in NY in 2007, the festival presents award winning films by and about people with disabilities in multiple locations throughout each hosting city. Post-screening discussions and other engaging programs bring together the community to explore, discuss, embrace, and celebrate the diversity of our shared human experience. http://newyork.reelabilities.org/
More about the movies:
GIRLFRIEND is a sexy, pulse-pounding romance set in the scintillating, competitive world of ballroom dancing follows the beautiful and vivacious Upper East Side Mia (Leah Pipes) who has a promising career as a dancer and Bronx-born Armando (EJ Bonilla) who sweeps floors at the dance studio in exchange for lessons. He dreams of a time when he will dance with Mia, the love of his life but both their dreams are shattered on one fateful evening, when a tragic accident forever confines Mia to a wheelchair, never to dance again. True to his heart, Armando dedicates himself, along with a colorful collection of oddballs, to helping Mia overcome her painful challenges and “dance” once more.
MUSICAL CHAIRS is directed by veteran independent filmmaker Susan Seidelman (Desperately Seeking Susan, The Boynton Beach Club, Smithereens, Making Mr. Right, She-Devil). “On one level Musical Chairs is a romantic film about the joy of dancing. But on another level, it’s a film about diversity: cultural, sexual and physical diversity,” explains Seidelman. Musical Chairs is a story of impossible dreams made true through the strength of the human spirit and the power of compassion and love. (USA, 2011, 100 min., color)
More about the Guest Speakers:
Evan Sneider was born in Boston and raised in Wayland, Massachusetts, where Girlfriend was filmed. He currently resides near Cape Cod. His main goal is to become a working actor.
Evan’s interest in acting began when he was very young, sparked by a role in Delia Ephron’s How to Eat like a Child during a summer theater program.
Determined, with his interest in acting growing, Evan performed in elementary and middle school plays as well as continuing to perform in summer theatre.
Beyond the traditional subjects in high school, Evan elected to take theatre, drama and creative writing classes. It is here that Evan and director Justin Lerner first met.
In addition to his friendship with Justin, Evan has been lifelong friends with actors Daniel Turnbull and Darren McDonald, who have small roles in Girlfriend.
After post-graduation studies, Evan, who is a huge Stephen Sondheim fan, began auditioning for numerous community theater productions and has performed in more than twenty, including turns in Sondheim’s Into the Woods at F.U.D.G.E. Theatre Company in Arlington, Massachusetts and in Sondheim’s Assassins with the Lexington Players. His first film work was in Lerner’s thesis film The Replacement Child. Girlfriend is his feature film debut.
Writer/Director, Justin Lerner, was born in State College, Pennsylvania, but considers the Massachusetts town of Wayland his home town. He is the product of an interfaith marriage between a Jewish man and a Catholic woman, both of whom are developmental psychologists, who compromised by sending him to Quaker school until he was eleven. He studied theater arts and film at Cornell University, from which he graduated cum laude.
In 2007, he received his MFA in directing at the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, where his thesis film The Replacement Child was awarded with two Student Emmys, one for Best Drama and the other for Best Director. The Replacement Child made its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival and went on to play over forty other U.S. and international festivals, including the Sundance, Los Angeles and Torino Film Festivals.
Justin currently lives in Los Angeles. Girlfriend is his feature directorial debut.
Screenwriter, Musical Chairs
MARTY MADDEN (Producer, Writer) is a screenwriter and playwright whose works include “Incident at Haystack Landing” (a “true” haunted house story for Spelling Entertainment and Fox TV), “Field Guide to North American Monsters” (a pseudo-documentary style horror/comedy series for Fox TV), “The Hunt” (a sci-fi action adventure developed with Hammerhead Productions), “All Shook Up” (a musical romp about a girl who follows Elvis into the Army when he’s drafted), “Victory” (a magical true tale of turn-of-the-century baseball), “Cotton” (a story of family and faith told through the eyes of a reluctant faith healer) and “Musical Chairs.
Since 1973, presenting the best U.S., International, Independent & Repertory films on 3 screens 365 days of the year, in a comfortable ambience including the sculpture garden & The Sky Room Café, the Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave (just south of 25a), Huntington, NY 11743 (25 miles east of New York City). Admission for regular programs: $10.00. Discounts for members, seniors, students & children. CAC is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. For further information call 631-423-7611. To sign up for weekly email schedule: info@CinemaArtsCentre.org Membership and Schedule: www.cinemaartscentre.org/
The mission of the Cinema Arts Centre is to bring the best in cinematic artistry to Long Island, and use the power of film to expand the awareness and consciousness of our community