2021 ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival – How to Fest

Below is information that will help you through the Festival experience. For further assistance, please email our help desk at info@bostonjfilm.org. When sending us an email, include your name and phone number in the subject line.

Accessibility & Community Standards

Notes on Accessibility

  • All films in the 2021 program are captioned.
  •  Most films in the program are available with Audio Description. Please, check the line-up for accessibility information.
  • All live events and Q&As will include live captioning. Some will also include ASL interpretation. Please, check specific events for accessibility details.
  • Please direct any questions about accessibility or troubleshooting your viewing experience to info@bostonjfilm.org.

The small but mighty Boston Jewish Film/ReelAbilities Boston team is committed to providing a pleasant festival experience for audience. Please be patient if there are delays in responses to any questions/comments and know that we will respond as soon as we are able to.

In accordance with our Community Standards Boston Jewish Film will suspend service to audience members exhibiting disruptive, inappropriate, or disrespectful behavior toward staff. Our Community Standards include: treating staff and guests with respect; verbal, online and/or physical threats will not be tolerated. We respectfully request that online conversations be polite and relevant.

Community Standards have been adopted by Boston Jewish Film/ReelAbilities Boston to help our organization and the entire festival community build a safe and supportive environment in which we can all continue to connect through our unique film programming and events.


Register for your complimentary festival pass.

  • 2021 ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival Pass – FREE
    • Complimentary pass with registration.
    • Pass provides Easy access to any 2021 ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival virtual screenings and live programs from May 6-13th.
    • Watch films on-demand throughout the festival for 48 hours after you first start viewing the film.
    • All films are offered with open captions or English subtitles. Audio-Described versions are available for most films.
    • Live programs will be captioned. Some will include live ASL interpretation.
    • CLICK HERE to register for your Festival Pass.

View the 2021 Film List.

Search through the ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival site. Select the film you want to see by clicking “View More.” On the film page, press “Watch Now” for the film you want to stream. Viewing of films will be available May 6-13, 2021.

CLICK HERE for step-by-step instructions on how to select and view your films.

Yes, you need a Boston Jewish Film account. If you have ever purchased/registered for a ticket online to a Boston Jewish Film event you should already have an account. You can sign in with your email address or username. If you have forgotten your password, please follow the prompt to reset it. 

If you do not have an account, you will be asked to create one during the checkout process.  

Tip: Once you have set up an account, click  “remember me” so you stay signed in on your device.

All films in this festival are only available to view in the United States.

WHY? Boston Jewish Film/ReelAbilities Boston has to geoblock films because of requirements from the filmmakers and film distributors. Most, if not all, virtual films have geoblocking restrictions. We are proud to be part of a large film festival community and to adhere to restrictions that help assure that other virtual film festivals across the country and abroad can expose their audiences to these films without having their attendance compromised.

Confirmation emails are sent automatically once your registration is complete. If you do not receive your email within a few minutes of completion, check your Spam and Junk Mail folders.  Please make sure you add info@bostonjfilm.org as a trusted source.

If you still do not see the email, log in to your account using your username and password.

All patrons have 48 hours to watch a film after pressing “Watch Now.”

Films are available to view until May 13, 2021, 11:59 pm. If you begin to watch a film on May 13, you will still have 48 hours to watch the film (films will not be available after May 15).

Films are available to stream May 6, 2021 12 am. Starting then, you can stream all films by clicking on “Watch Now” on the film page.

Viewing Films

Your Festival Pass allows you to watch any film at any time during the Festival May 6-13. Once you begin to watch, you have 48 hours to complete viewing.

After registering for a festival pass, go to the film page, choose a film, click “View More”  and then click “Watch Now”.

If you registered for your festival pass before May 6, 2021, you will be able to go back into your account beginning May 6, 2021 at 12 am, and click “Watch Now” on the film and begin streaming.  

The ability to watch on your TV is not a guarantee.



  • PCs running Windows 7+ Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Opera. Internet Explorer is not supported.
  • Intel-based Macs running macOS 10.12+ Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Opera

Viewing Tips: For best viewing, make sure to close any extra tabs in your web browser. If you have problems viewing in your usual browser, try another of the recommended internet browsers listed above.


The ability to watch on your TV is not a guarantee.

  • HDMI – Use an HDMI cable to connect your computer directly to your television
  • Download our dedicated app “Boston Jewish Film” On Roku or AppleTV (Gen4 and above)
  • Cast from a computer or Android phone/tablet from a Chrome browser using a Chromecast device
  • Airplay from a computer, iPhone, or iPad to an AppleTV (Gen 2 and above) or to any Smart TV bearing the “AirPlay” badge

Phone / Tablet

  • iOS devices (iPhone, iPad) Use Safari on iOS 11.2 or later. Screen mirroring is not supported for watching our films. Ensure it is turned off in your device settings.
  • Android devices Use Chrome on Android 6.0 or later

The ability to watch on your TV is not a guarantee. 

If you have a laptop or computer with an HDMI port, you can use an HDMI cable to connect your computer to your TV, using it as a second monitor. You will need to have access to the back or side of your TV to check to see if your TV has an HDMI port and to make this connection.

Once connected, make sure the correct input source is selected on your TV. Your TV will then act as a second monitor for your computer.

When ready to watch films on your TV, you can either mirror your computer or use your mouse to drag the video window onto the TV screen.

Note: All TVs are different. Please check that your TV has HDMI input capabilities with your laptop/computer.

You can stream films using Apple AirPlay by screen sharing from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

  • Make sure your TV is on the same wifi network as the computer, phone, or tablet you are casting from. Click the “Watch Now” on the film page for the film you selected. 
  • Click on the bottom right of the video and select the AirPlay or Chromecast icon. SCREENSHOT
    • AirPlay: The icon looks like a rectangle with a triangle.
    • Chromecast: The icon is a rectangle with three curved lines Select your TV from the dropdown that pops up.
  • Turn off your VPN, if applicable – it can block viewing.

The ability to watch on your TV is not guaranteed. 

The Boston Jewish Film app is available on all versions of Roku and on Apple TV (Generation 4 or higher only)** 

  1. DOWNLOAD the Boston Jewish Film app
    1. To download the Boston Jewish Film app, search for “Boston Jewish Film” in either the Roku Channels app store or Apple TV app store and click “Get the App.”

Once you have downloaded the “Boston Jewish Film” app, go to the ReelAbilities Boston film page, log into your account and then choose any film, click “View More” and then click “Watch Now.”

When you are ready to stream, click “Watch On Another Device” at the top of your stream page. This will generate your 9-digit voucher code that you will enter on your Roku or Apple TV apps.

Open the Boston Jewish Film app on your Roku or Apple TV and enter the code to stream the film.

**Live Q&As and programs are unavailable on the Roku and AppleTV apps.

  • For step-by-step instructions on how to set up and watch on Apple TV, CLICK HERE.
  • For step-by-step instructions on how to set up and watch on Roku, CLICK HERE.

We use adaptive bitrate streaming which means the streaming quality will automatically adjust based on your internet speed. If your internet connection is poor or inconsistent you may experience problems during playback. If you’re on wifi, try moving closer to your router.

Viewing Tip: For best viewing, make sure to close any extra tabs in your web browser. If you have problems viewing in your usual browser, try another internet browser. Internet Explorer is not supported.

Live Programs

Viewing live programs are not available on Roku or Apple TV.

This year’s Festival includes conversations with filmmakers, actors, special guests, musical performances, and more! Your film festival pass grants you access to the corresponding programs.

Register for a free Festival Pass!

Conversations and programs will take place on specific dates and times listed, CLICK HERE for a full list of live programs. Entry into programs is only available to Festival Pass holders or with the purchase of a ticket for that particular film.

Watch live events by clicking the link from your account.

Live programs will be streamed through Zoom. CLICK HERE for instructions on how to join Live Programs.

Live programs will be streamed through Zoom. These events can be attended via computer, tablet, smartphone, or mobile devices. CLICK HERE for instructions on how to join Live Programs.

  • Choose the live program you wish to attend. Click HERE for a full list of live events.
  • On the scheduled date and time, click “View More” and then click the “Link to Live Program” button.
  • This will launch the Zoom software on your computer or mobile device. If you do not have Zoom installed, it will prompt you to do so.
  • When the event starts, you will join the Live Program room and should be able to see and hear guest speakers.

Audiences will be able to type in questions that may be selected by the moderator. Some audience members may also be asked to join the panel to ask their questions on the screen.

Recorded versions of Festival Programs will be available after the Festival on the Boston Jewish Film YouTube channel

Make sure to subscribe to our channel to get alerts when we release new videos.

Voting For Your Favorite Film

Help choose the audience award winners by rating each Festival film you watch. Rate films based on a 5 star rating (1=worst, 5=best).

At the end of each film screening, click HERE to go to the Festival Voting page.

You will need to be logged in to your ticket purchasing account to rate the films you have watched.