ReelAbilities Film Festival returns with a hybrid approach

When considering accessibility, the first things that might come to mind are physical accessibility — but as Denver’s second annual ReelAbilities Film Festival proves, it can also include creative and community accessibility.

“The goal is to provide a space where films by, about and for people with disabilities can be screened,” explained Jenna Gragg, festival coordinator at the JCC Mizel Arts and Culture Center. “Beyond that, we want to provide space for people who want to advocate for the disability community.”

The second annual Colorado-based edition ReelAbilities Film Festival offers two options for potential audiences: in person in Denver and Boulder, Wednesday, August 24 through Sunday, August 28, and virtuallyfrom August 24 to Wednesday August 31. In-person screenings will take place at JCC Mizel Art and Culture Center350 S. Dahlia St. in Denver and the Boulder JCC6007 Oreg Ave. in Boulder.

Opening night at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center will be at 6:00 p.m. on the 24th at 6:00 p.m. with a free reception and community resource fair prior to the screening of “The Specials.”

The festival includes nine films screened in person and 13 films accessible virtually, as well as additional programming and Q&A sessions, according to the information provided. And the organizers have worked hard to make sure everyone in attendance is comfortable.

“We’re a mobility-friendly place and we want to be a place where everyone can come and feel welcome,” Gragg said. “No one will be judged for who they are – they’re just encouraged to come see a movie.”

Some of the features implemented specifically for the festival include open captioning and audio descriptions for films, ASL interpretation for all in-person spoken content (with automatic captioning available for live-streamed content), and sliding scale for ticket prices.

Films taking part this year include ‘Imperfect’, which focuses on Denver’s Phamaly Theater Company production of the classic musical ‘Chicago’, and ‘Only I Can Hear’, a documentary about children of deaf adults. in the Midwest. As with any film festival, many screenings will host screenings with people involved in the filmmaking process.

“I hope everyone who attends sees the festival as an opportunity to build community,” Gragg said. “There are some really wonderful films that will give people with disabilities a chance to share their stories and those without disabilities to open their eyes to this world. We are really excited to see the festival grow and hope that community members will help us grow it.

For more information and tickets, visit

Spend a rugby weekend at Infinity Park

Rugby is not a sport that many people see being played well, but those interested in the sport will have a great opportunity at 10th Annual RugbyTown Sevens Tournamentfrom Friday August 19 to Sunday August 21. The event will take place at infinity park950 S. Birch St. in Glendale.

As well as watching 20 rugby teams play, attendees can play in the free arcade, sample delicious food trucks and more. According to the information provided, the participating teams will come from Germany, South Africa, Israel, the United Kingdom, Barbados and five US military branches. All will play 15-minute matches with two seven-minute halves, with the goal of winning $10,000.

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Summer Scream returns to Lakeside

I would be hard pressed to think of a better place in the entire state of Colorado to spend a summer evening than Amusement park by the lake. What makes Denver Film’s decision to host the summer cry fundraiser at the park absolutely awesome.

And now, after a two-year hiatus, Summer Scream is back at Lakeside, 4601 Sheridan Blvd. in Denver, at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 25. The event will feature open bars, unlimited rides, live music from DJ Bella Scratch, and an immersive experience through Lakeside history.

More information and tickets can be found at

Clarke Concert of the Week – Kendrick Lamar at the Ball Arena

Kendrick Lamar is one of those artists you never get tired of. It took five years between his Pulitzer Prize-winning album, “DAMN.” and his long-awaited return in May with “Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers,” and that’s just too long. But now that he’s back, he’s done a job deep and rich enough to spend months analyzing.

After such a long absence, Lamar is taking his stellar catalog on the road with The tour of the greats step by stepwhich stops at ball arena, 1000 Chopper Circle in Denver, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23. He will be joined by Baby Keem and Tanna Leone. I saw Lamar on his last tour and living man, does he deliver.

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Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears weekly. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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