CINCINNATI – RJ Mitte, an actor with cerebral palsy who portrayed a character with cerebral palsy on the Emmy-winning TV hit "Breaking Bad," will join other celebrities at the four-day Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival in March.
"Growing up, I was never taught to use the words ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t.’ I was taught to believe that I can achieve anything I want and that disability does not define me," said Mitte, best known for playing Walter "Flynn" White Jr., for five seasons of the AMC thriller.
"The Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival focuses on how differences strengthen us individually and as a community and I'm excited to be working with them,” Mitte said.
The festival - March 9 to 12 at the Duke Energy Convention Center - will feature more than 40 films that showcase the stories, lives and art of people with disabilities. A premiere luncheon, parties, workshops and speakers are also included.
Tickets for all events will go on sale at the end of January.
Mitte will appear at two events on March 9 - a 10 a.m. Q&A with other stars that will kick off the festival, and as keynote speaker at the premiere luncheon at noon. The Q&A is free to the public.
Mitte's cerebral palsy is milder than his character's in "Breaking Bad." Mitte had to learn to walk on crutches and slur his speech for the role.
Mitte is a costar on ABC Family’s primetime hit show, “Switched at Birth." He was on the big screen in “Dixieland,” which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. And he walked the runway as part of Men’s Fashion Week in Milan, Berlin and New York City.
To heighten awareness and education of his own issues with bullying and prejudice, Mitte is an official ambassador for United Cerebral Palsy and Shriners Hospitals for Children, and is the celebrity face for the #CutTheBull Campaign in support of children with disabilities.
The Hollywood-style film screening event will benefit local nonprofits that work to enrich and strengthen the lives of individuals with disabilities, their families and their communities. The goal is that people will leave having been uplifted with a new perception of difference, appreciation and welcoming of each other.
WCPO's Craig McKee, Julie O’Neill and Lucy May will emcee film screening events during the festival. McKee will host a Friday night reception/screening tribute to veterans.
The festival is organized by Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled. LADD, a 41-year-old Cincinnati-based nonprofit, works to propel the inclusion and success of nearly 500 adults in Hamilton County who have developmental disabilities through housing and employment options, life skills training, and advocacy leadership.