Press Release: BAFF 2017 Theme Announced

Press Release: BAFF is BACK- CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF DIVERSITY

The Bluenose-Ability Film festival is back for another year; celebrating the diverse contributions of the disability arts and culture movement, in Halifax, NS from November 30th through December 3rd, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Halifax, NS April 5, 2017- reachAbility Association is proud to announce the Third Annual Bluenose-Ability Film Festival (BAFF), Atlantic Canada's first and only disability focused film festival for adults and youth, happening Thursday, November 30th through Sunday, December 3rd, 2017. We are excited to announce our theme this year’s festival; Celebrating 150 Years of Diversity, in honor of Canada's 150 Years of Confederation.

The Bluenose-Ability Film Festival showcases the diverse contributions of both experienced and first-time filmmakers, while providing a powerful platform to create an open dialogue about disability and mental health, to raise awareness on the topics, and to give a voice to those traditionally underserved and misrepresented by mainstream media outlets. Through partnerships with local schools and youth groups in the HRM, BAFF also strongly encourages youth engagement in the growing disability arts and culture movement by implementing a year-round Future Film-makers Program developed to inspire a new generation of film-makers for years to come. We are now accepting film-submissions from adults and youth for this year’s festival until July 31,2017.

This year's festival is jam-packed with film-making workshops for both youth and adults, expert discussion panels on mental health, and specialized accessible film screenings throughout the weekend taking place in both Halifax and Dartmouth. Best of all, every BAFF event is FREE of charge, and accessible for all- thanks to the support and generosity of our many valued sponsors, community partners, and volunteers.

The festival weekend will kick off on Thursday, November 30th at Opening Night, with a specialized film screening presented by Accessible Media Inc. This year, the BAFF 2017 Awards Ceremony and Gala will take place on Saturday, December 2nd at 7pm, at a location to be announced at a later date. The festival will wrap up Sunday, December 3rd on the United Nations' International Day of Persons with Disabilities, with specialized events focused on Mental Health in the Community, including expert panels and winning film screenings.

A Call for Submissions

BAFF 2016 was an astounding success, with film submissions from over 15 countries around the world. In 2017 we hope to receive film submissions from even more countries and to expand our reach to audiences and film-makers alike, representing all cultural intersections. We are truly committed to engaging persons of all nations and identities.

If you would like to be a part of our international celebration of diversity and have created a film contribution that is made by, features, or is about an individual(s) who identifies with disability and/or mental illness, please visit www.baff.ca/submit to send in your submissions. For more information and to stay up to date on BAFF 2017, please visit www.baff.ca. About the Host Organization: reachAbility Association:

As a registered not-for-profit organization, reachAbility Association is dedicated to equalizing the playing field for individuals who are living with disability, or who are facing barriers to inclusion through an array of client programs and services. Therefore, it is only appropriate that we present a media event that reflects our core values, and goals while celebrating the growth of diversity both in our own country, and around the world.

reachAbility Association and BAFF 2017 recognize the support of the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage. We are pleased to work in partnership with the Province of Nova Scotia to develop and promote our cultural resources for all Nova Scotians.

For more information about programs and services offered by reachAbility, please visit the website at www.reachability.org// .

To learn more about the festival, or to voice any questions or concerns, please contact Festival Director, Ben Sutherland at:

Phone: 902-334-2071 E-Mail: [email protected]

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