Three films put spotlight on special needs

A scene from “Keep the Change.”
A scene from “Keep the Change.”

Come April, Rockland residents — and wise New Jerseyans who realize that Nanuet is no farther away than Manhattan and cheaper to travel to and park in — will celebrate Jewish films at the Rockland Jewish Film Festival.

But before that, in March, another film comes to town, also under the auspices of the Rockland JCC.

It’s the ReelAbilities festival, designed to raise awareness of people with disabilities. It’s organized by the Manhattan JCC. Screenings are happening at 32 different sites all over Manhattan, the five boroughs, and the greater metropolitan area. And three of those screenings will be at the Regal theater in Nanuet in March.

“They gave us a choice about 50 films,” Micki Leader said. Ms. Leader is the “chairman emerita” of the Jewish film festival, and she took a lead role in bringing ReelAbilities to Rockland. “We asked to look at 15.”

The three films are:

“Out of My Head,” an exploration of migraine headaches made by Susanna Styron, the daughter of writer William Styron.

“It centers on her daughter, who developed migraine headaches in her early teens,” Ms. Leader said. “It’s an incredible film that will appeal to people interested in how many people suffer from migraines. Four people on the selection committee suffer from migraines.”

“Out of My Head” shows on Thursday, March 8, at 7:15 p.m.

“Scaffolding,” screens on Monday, March 12, at 7:15 p.m., is an Israeli film with English subtitles.

“It centers on a young man who is a high school student in Israel,” Ms. Leader said. “He struggles with reading and writing his entire school career. He has behavior issues and meltdown issues. It’s an enormously striking story.”

The third film is “Keep the Change,” which shows on Tuesday, March 13, at 7:15 p.m.

“It’s a great film. It’s a feature and it’s a love story,” Ms. Leader said. “All of the actors are high functioning people with autism.”

The film won prizes for Best U.S. Narrative Feature and Best New Director at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

For more information, and to buy tickets, go to

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