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Bus Stop Films produces amazing films. We show that being inclusive doesn’t impact budgets, shoot times or the quality of a film, however enhances the experiences of cast, crew and audiences and changes community attitudes for the better. With now almost 50 short films made, winning more than 80 awards and screening in festivals and on streaming services around the world, to an audience to date of over 45M people, we are a viable and dynamic creative organisation. How do we do we achieve this?
We deliver our Accessible Film Studies Program for adults living with disability in Sydney through the Australian Film and Radio School (AFTRS), in Parramatta through Information + Cultural Exchange (I.C.E.), in Wollongong with the University of Wollongong and in Canberra with Screen Canberra, in Brisbane through Griffith Film School and Online. In 2022, we’re adding Blue Mountains, Melbourne and Adelaide as well. The 40-week film studies course teaches students key aspects of filmmaking – story development, script writing, lighting, sound, costume, camera techniques, producing and directing. Students work with their film studies tutor and support workers to develop a film idea which they shoot as part of the course. In 2021, we have our biggest student intake with almost 90 students enrolled in our 6 program streams.
Our students work with award winning industry professionals to create amazing short films. We enter the films into Oscar qualifying festivals around the world, and we send students to festivals to walk the red carpet, introduce films and participate in industry panels. In recent years, we’ve sent students to the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and interstate to represent the films they have made. In 2019, our films also screened on Foxtel and SBS and as part of Sydney’s Vivid festival. In 2019 BSF was a successful recipient of Screen NSW’s Screenability funding, producing “Groundhog Night” for the Sydney Film Festival and was also commissioned by Shark Island Institute, to produce the groundbreaking documentary “What Was It Like?”.
We campaign for greater representation of people with disability in the screen industry on both sides of the camera and drive a more inclusive society. We have supported our students into over 350 workplace opportunities. Our students have been employed on TVC’s, TV shows, feature films and filming corporate events. Companies who have employed our students including Disney on Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Endemol Shine working on Survivor and MasterChef, Fremantle Media and filming events for Accenture. Our students and staff are powerful advocates and undertake many speaking engagements at conferences, corporate training and events for organisations including Disney, Westpac, Comm Bank, Cushman & Wakefield and the United Nations.
We love to see people like Lily Mitchell who are making the film industry more accessible for talent and crew who are differently abled. She studied at Griffith Film School and now works in sound production. She has worked on multiple projects, some of which are doing the rounds of the film festival circuit!
Read about her story here.