NYWIFT Talks: 2024 ReelAbilities Film Festival

Welcome to NYWIFT Talks, a series that brings updated news and vital information on current events in media and entertainment. Industry professionals will be in conversation discussing what you need to know about theatrical releases, digital advances, virtual tools, festival opportunities, production updates and more. 

NYWIFT Talks are free for all to attend.

On this week’s NYWIFT Talks we’ll discuss ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York taking place April 3-10, 2024. We’ll speak with Isaac Zablocki (ReelAbilities Director and Co-Founder), Ravit Turjeman (ReelAbilities Chief Operating Officer), and Xian Horn about what’s in store for this year’s festival, more about their upcoming Industry Summit, and the importance of disability representation and accessibility in all forms of media. 

This conversation will be moderated by NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez.

See the 2024 ReelAbilities Full Schedule

Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Time: 4:00pm ET
Location: Zoom (Link can be found in confirmation email)
Cost to attend: Free




Isaac Zablocki is the Director of film programs at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan. He attended film school at Columbia University and went on to work at Miramax films. Previously, he produced and directed feature films and developed film educational programs for the Board of Education. Since 2004, Isaac has been developing film programs at the JCC including The Israel Film Center. Beyond ReelAbilities, he programs multiple film festivals annually including the acclaimed Other Israel Film Festival about Arab and minority populations in Israel.

One of the founding members of the ReelAbilities Film Festival, Ravit Turjeman is the founder and director of Dragoman Films, a company focused on film distribution and film festivals programming, production, and management. Over the past 20 years she has promoted the work of, and represented hundreds of filmmakers, as well as led various film-related initiatives, including film festivals, industry databases, streaming platforms, and industry networks.


Xian Horn is a joyful half-Asian woman with Cerebral Palsy, who serves as a beauty and disability advocate, speaker, educator, Forbes contributor, and founder of the non-profit Give Beauty Wings and consultancy Changeblazer. She is an advocate, speaker, blogger, and Exemplar for the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge in the creation of Assistive Technology. Xian was named Women’s eNews’ 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2017 and in Walker’s Legacy Power 15 in 2018. Give Beauty Wings’ Self-Esteem programs began and continue at NYU’s Initiative for Women with Disabilities, the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, and M.S. 131. She is a freelance journalist at ForbesWomen and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.

NYWIFT CEO Cynthia López (Moderator) is an award-winning media strategist, and former Commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where she implemented strategies to support film and TV production throughout the five boroughs. López is the recipient of many coveted industry awards including: 11 News and Documentary Emmy Awards, a Special Emmy Award for Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking, three Peabody Awards, and two duPont-Columbia Awards. In addition, she received the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) Award for Commitment to Corporate Diversity. Prior to working as Commissioner, López was Executive Vice President and co-Executive Producer of the award-winning PBS documentary series American Documentary | POV, and was involved in the organization’s strategic growth and creative development for 14 years. Her ability to forge strategic partnerships among corporate and public interest media has been a signature of her work. Notable partnerships include: New York Times, Reuters, Al-Jazeera Network, Discovery Communications, The Moth, Story Corps, Harpo Studios and ABC News, NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel. López is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), and is proud to have spent her career collaborating with independent filmmakers across all portions of the film and television industry. She served on the Board of Trustees for the Paley Center, NYC & Company, Museum of the Moving Image and the Tribeca Film Institute Latin America Fund Advisory Board. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Color Congress, Latino Public Broadcasting, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, WIFTI and The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors.


About ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York

Founded in 2007 by the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with disabilities. The weeklong festival is renowned for its wide-ranging international film selection, riveting conversations, and performances, presented annually in dozens of venues across the New York metropolitan area. In 2010, ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York expanded into an international program, presenting its one-of-a-kind programming in cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Central America.

April 2 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm (1h)

This program will take place virtually as a webinar via Zoom. Please register in advance, and all registrants will receive a link to attend the webinar the day of the event.

We encourage you to download Zoom in advance.

Free event.



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#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.