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Weeklong Phila. Film Fest Highlights Those Who Overcame Disabilities

By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The third annual “ReelAbilities” Film Festival kicked off today,  highlighting stories of triumph over disabilities.

Over the next seven days, filmgoers will be inspired by heroes such as Jerome Felder, who was paralyzed by polio as a child and grew up to become an accomplished songwriter, in AKA Doc Pomus.

(Audio clip from movie: ) “Nothing about the facts of his birth or his upbringing ever suggested the person he would eventually become.  Doc was someone who defied every limitation, and he managed to live a life that was a work of art of his own creation.”

Sara Wenger works for the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Philadelphia and coordinated the festival, which will feature a half-dozen international films, two art exhibits, panel discussions, and talkbacks centered around those with disabilities.

“We seek to bring together the community so that we can discuss and celebrate our diversity,” she tells KYW Newsradio, “to promote awareness of the lives and expression of people with different disabilities.”

Other critically acclaimed films include Girlfriend — about the quest for true love by a boy with Down Syndrome.

The festival runs through March 27th.


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