OTR Film Fest’s ‘Celebration of Inclusion’ Bringing Star-studded Lineup to Your Living Room

Black graphic with colorful film reel on right side. Text says "Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival. A Celebration of Inclusion in Film & Media. March 11, 2021. A virtual experience.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (Feb. 23, 2021) – The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, organized by LADD and the nation’s first diversity film festival led by the disability community, will host a special evening of connection, community and culture at 6:30 p.m. on March 11. 

A Celebration of Inclusion in Film & Media,” a virtual experience, will feature celebrity appearances, comedy, musical performances, inspirational speakers and VIP packages with chef-curated dinners and custom gift bags.

The lineup of Hollywood stars and changemakers include:

  • Lea DeLaria from “Orange is the New Black”

  • Sammi Haney from “Netflix’s Raising Dion”

  • Ryan Niemiller, comedian and former contestant on “America’s Got Talent”

  • Valarie Kaur, filmmaker, civil rights lawyer and Sikh activist 

  • Mat Fraser from “CripTales” and “American Horror Story” 

  • Rickey Alexander Wilson from “Best Summer Ever”

  • Deirdre Lovejoy from “Netflix’s Raising Dion” and “The Wire”

Plus, musical performances by:

  • Indigo Girls

  • Sweet Honey in the Rock


“As we look to heal, rebuild, perhaps return to some level of normalcy or begin anew after this past year, many of us are seeing life through a new lens,” said Molly Lyons, festival director. “That’s what this virtual experience is all about: celebrating our shared humanity and discovering new perspectives.”

We’ve partnered with our friends at EXPO to offer attendees various levels of participation in the evening’s activities, from standard access ($30) to VIP experiential packages. Tickets are available at expotoyou.com/otr-international-film-festival and an access link will be emailed to ticket holders closer to the date.

Each VIP package supports local chefs through Oakley Kitchen Food Hall, as well as artists with disabilities and Happen Inc. Breadwinners who designed art for t-shirts, bags and stickers included in the gift bags.

The event will also reveal the 2021 festival’s theme and announce two new festival awards in collaboration with the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Harriet Beecher Stowe House

Produced by Kate Siahaan-Rigg – actor, stand-up comic and writer based in New York City – and Alyson Palmer – producer, director, activist, community organizer and singer/songwriter for BETTY – the night is sure to be full of laughter, discovery and celebration. The festival thanks its Leadership Committee, Marketing Committee, LADD’s Board of Directors and sponsors for making this event possible. 

Media contacts may sign up to access the event for free and receive a swag bag by completing this form by March 4.

About Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival

The Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival, organized by LADD, was founded by the Saul Schottenstein Foundation B and is presented by the Edwards Initiative, formerly Financial Independence Project. The festival, set to return July 8-11, 2021, showcases stories that celebrate the human spirit by providing a platform for audiences to see through another’s eyes. The festival also aims to spotlight the Queen City and its role in reframing how we see disability in the entertainment industry’s ongoing discussion of diversity. Learn more at otrfilmfest.org

About LADD

Guided by the belief that every person has ability and value, LADD empowers adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, and connect. Founded in 1975, the Cincinnati non-profit now supports more than 600 individuals through housing, employment and meaningful community engagement programs. Learn more at laddinc.org.

MEDIA CONTACT: Whitney Siddiqi, wsiddiqi@laddinc.org