Our History

Have a look through our history page and find out how
Bus Stop Films began

  • Genevieve conducts her first filmmaking workshops with people with disabilities while working on a documentary for Down Syndrome NSW. While on the documentary, Genevieve meets Gerard O’Dwyer who inspires the script, Be My Brother after he serenades her with a Shakespeare soliloquy on their first meeting.
  • Genevieve presents Eleanor with the script for Be My Brother, while participating as an actor in the Powerhouse Youth Theatre’s Mixed Abilities ensemble for people with and without disabilities. Eleanor, being PYT’s General Manager, has the logistical know-how and passion to produce the film and so, takes the project on.
  • The Be My Brother team decides that if they’re going to make a film about a person with a disability, it needed to be made with people with disabilities too. Creative practitioner Alison Richardson helps the team facilitate a filmmaking workshop with five interested people with disabilities in her home, who then fulfill crew roles on set.


  • Be My Brother wins Tropfest and Gerard O’Dwyer wins best actor at Tropfest. Genevieve and Eleanor decide to co-found an organisation dedicated to creating more projects like Be My Brother, that combine workshops and practical film making opportunities. They call the organisation Bus Stop Films, because Be My Brother was set at a Bus Stop.
  • Frances and Annie, their second inclusive film is born, and supported by a grant from MetroScreen.


  • The team is invited to take inclusive filmmaking to Canberra and facilitates the project Beautiful with members from the local community and Executive Producer Caro Roach.


  • Freehills Law Firm support Bus Stop to incorporate as a not-for-profit. At the end of the year, Bus Stop gains DGR and charity status.
  • Bus Stop is invited to conduct regular, Saturday morning filmmaking workshops through government-funded initiative, the Inclusive Communities Education Program (ICEP) at Sydney Community College.


  • Bus Stop Films is offered the opportunity to make a film through the ICEP program at Sydney Community College and so, The Interviewer is created with a class of 12 people with an intellectual disability over the course of 12 months. The Interviewer, which is based on a true story, becomes Bus Stop’s most successful short film to date, with over 30 international awards, distribution deals across the US, Asia and Europe as well as over 40 festival credits.
  • Bus Stop students create a pro bono, promotional video for Physical Disability Rugby League as a part of a class task, the video helps PDRL engage more players and raise funds.


  • Bus Stop helps to create the first inclusive Television Commercial aired on national television, by facilitating the employment of two of its filmmaking students on the set of a TVC for Special Olympics through its relationship with creative agency, Taste Creative.
  • Genevieve and Eleanor desire to see if Bus Stop’s inclusive filmmaking strategy could help improve access to the film industry for the refugee community. Through Genevieve’s AFTRS masters degree, the duo make the short film I Am Emmanuel with young members of the South Sudanese refugee community. The project successfully ensures the employment of one participant on Angelina Jolie’s feature film Unbroken.


  • I Am Emmanuel screens at the prestigious Oscar qualifying film festival Palm Springs International Shorts Fest.
  • Bus Stop facilitates work experience for 13 students on the short film Work Mate, made as part of a disability awareness campaign for Australia Post, and produced by Taste Creative.
  • Bus Stop is given the opportunity to create another inclusive film through the ICEP initiative. Over 10 months, in collaboration with the students, the team creates Heartbreak & Beauty, an experimental short film that expresses themes around relationships from the perspectives of 12 students with an intellectual disability. Heartbreak & Beauty uses dance, visual metaphor and original poetry to convey themes such as death, birth and renewal.
  • The Interviewer goes viral across Europe after being screened on ARTE TV and is featured on the blog of European celebrity chef, Rachel Khoo.
  • Our CEO Genevieve Clay-Smith is named NSW Young Australian of the Year for her work with Bus Stop Films.
  • Heartbreak and Beauty is launched at the Chauvel Cinema in the presence of His Excellency, General The Honourable David Hurley AC, DSC, (Ret’d), Governor of New South Wales and Mrs Linda Hurley. His Excellency is delighted to meet all the students, their parents and give the closing address at the event.
  • Our inclusive film, I Am Emmanuel, made with members from the African Australian refugee community wins Best Australian Short Film at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.
  • Bus Stop Films forges a groundbreaking partnership with the prestigious Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) to deliver it’s film studies program at the organisation’s premises.

  • Bus Stop Films produces a short film called Kill Off with 12 of it’s film studies students. The organisation brings Jamie Brewer to Australia to star in the film and work with the students. While Jamie is in Australia, Bus Stop facilitates advocacy events and media opportunities with the support of Screen NSW to raise awareness about the need for more inclusion and diversity in the Australian film industry.

  • Bus Stop delivers two of it’s documentary film studies programs for people with complex and persistent mental health issues resulting in the film projects ‘Gratus’ and ‘Gambling with Minds.’
  • Bus Stop produces it’s biggest showcase of work to an audience of 400 people at Event cinemas.
  • Bus Stop Films wins the Community Organisation award at the Human Rights Awards.