Keep up to date with what’s happening at Bus Stop with our blog and meet some of our awesome students as they give you insight into what they are learning about in class!
Sangeetha Punnia is a long term Bus Stop Films student and is one of the stars of the documentary “Lives in Action”. This film was inclusively made both in front of and behind the camera and is the eye opening and heartwarming documentary showcasing different stories about disability and culture. Lives in Action headed to the International Documentary Film Festival, Doc Edge Festival in Auckland NZ and so did Sangeetha!read more
Our brilliant tutors Stef Smith and Lianne Mackessy recently directed their students on an Experimental Dance film shoot. The students worked with choreographer Virginia Ferris to develop their amazing routines. On the shoot they were joined by professionally trained dancers Mia and Natalia. The production was supported by amazing team including Mikey and Jamie. The project was shot in the studios at AFTRS. The films is coming together to present a stunning visual story of dance and movement. We can’t wait to share it with audiences later this year.read more
Nina, one of our awesome students from our Wollongong program shares her thoughts on Bus Stop Films!read more
Last Sunday, 18th March, Director Craig Anderson came along to volunteer his time to give a masterclass to the Program 1 students at Bus Stop Films. Craig is an amazing writer/director who has made awesome television and feature film projects, and is quite extraordinary. The students LOVED having Craig at their class.read more
On Sunday the 13th of January 2018, Bus Stop Film’s co-founder and CEO, Genevieve Clay-Smith conducted Japan’s first ever inclusive film studies workshop at Sanwa, Japan’s premier camera and production resource facility. With the assistance and support of Bus Stop board member, Sarah Jane Johnson, the team were able to conduct a filmmaking workshop with six local people with Down Syndrome and prepare them to work as part of a professional film crew on a branded content short film project which Genevieve was directing. Check out Genevieve’s blog about the experience and learn more about what she and the team achieved in the land of the rising sun!read more
In October this year, we sent one of our amazing students from 2016, Catherine Lattari to the Adelaide Film Festival to represent the cohort of BSF students involved in making Kill Off! In this blog, Catherine talks about the experience of the festival and how she introduced the film in front of an audience at the screening!read more
In October Bus Stop Films received the wonderful news that two of our films would be screening in South Dakota. Jordan participated in the making of “Kill Off” and continues his work in our Intermediate program. Bus Stop Films was able to provide funding for Jordan and his mum to attend the South Dakota festival and meet fellow film makers from around the globe!read more
In 2015 Bus Stop Films set out to produce it’s largest project to date… Kill Off! The film gave 12 students living with an intellectual disability the opportunity to learn about filmmaking through weekly workshops and mentorships with professional crew from the film industry. Jahmia is one of the students who participated in the film workshops and the making of ‘Kill Off’. For Jahmia, while filming Kill Off finished in 2015, the journey continues. Last month, Bus Stop Films supported Jahmia to attend the Gympie Heart of Gold Film Festival. Where Kill Off was screening in competition and was nominated for the Gympie Gold award! Jahmia shares her thoughts and photos in a short diary of the Gympie Heart of Gold festival experience.read more
On Sunday the 23rd of July students from the intermediate Bus Stop Films class made a documentary about Afro-Australian women. Leading up to the day on set, the students studied the Refugee experience as part of their classroom curriculum Joni Campbell is a student in the intermediate documentary class. Joni shares her thoughts on the film-making process and what she learned while making the documentary.read more
Bus Stop Films sponsored one of our 2016 documentary filmmaking participants, Mel Travis to attend the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival mid-year to present Gratus, a short film made through our documentary film studies program. Mel travelled to the festival to represent the cohort behind the documentary which gives voice to the stories of people with lived experience of mental health issues. Check out her recap on the festival in our latest blog!read more
An amazing director-friend of ours, Stef Smith (who also tutors our classes!) recently directed an ABC and Screen Australia Project called The Lost Tapes, and decided to make the film set inclusive! We are so excited to see inclusive filmmaking taking over! Hear from one of our students, Rawley Reynolds who worked on the project and Stef Smith about the experience and get inspired, if you’re a filmmaker, to make your next film set inclusive!read more
In February, Gambling with Minds had it’s world premiere at Flickerfest and then in May it screened at the Melbourne Human Rights and Arts Film Festival (HRAFF). It’s a little film with a powerful message. Created by 7 people with lived experience of mental health issues and the mental health system through our documentary studies program, delivered last year in partnership with 3 Bridges Community for people in recovery from mental health issues. In this blog post one of the participants Amanda, talks about her experience attending both Flickerfest and HRAFF and why the film is an important vehicle for social change.read more
On March 19th and 20th one of our students, Christine Blanch attended the St Kilda Film Festival to represent her class the team behind Kill Off which was selected to screen at the festival this year out of thousands of entries! Read about her experience of the VIP events and red carpet!read more
We were proud to support Barbara Beinart Pashut in March with a filmmaker travel grant to enable her to travel to the Fargo Film Festival in the USA. As a participant in our film studies program for people in recovery from complex mental health issues, Barbara was a part of a class of individuals who shared their stories about mental health in order to advocate for greater awareness around mental health. Barbara travelled to Fargo where she represented the team behind Gratus and received the award for Best Experimental Film on behalf of the 7 participants who studied with us. As well as this, we recently supported Barbara to hold a mental health awareness event at the Australian Film Television and Radio School where she showed Gratus and used it to talk about important issues around mental health. In Barbara’s blog she talk about her experience at Fargo, the power of filmmaking and her special mental health event!read more
We were so excited to be able to support two of our filmmaking students involved in making Gratus, with travel grants to represent their peers and the team behind the film at this years Fargo Film Festival. Izaak Love travelled to Fargo in the USA where the film received Best Experimental Film at the festival. Izaak has had an amazing journey – having experienced the impact of mental illness and coming through the other side to now be a mental health advocate while pursing a career as an actor and filmmaker. In this blog by Izaak he talks about the experience of going through our documentary studies program, what it was like travelling to Fargo and his plans for the future!read more
We were very excited to be able to support the Dramatic Minds Festival in Temora this year by sending one of our filmmakers, Barbara Beinart Pashut to run workshops with the local youth, screen a short film she made with peers through our filmmaking program and judge the local high school filmmaking competition. Barbara has been on an incredible journey, she is a mental health advocate with lived experience of mental health issues and she has a passion for grassroots activism. Barbara joined our documentary filmmaking workshops conducted at 3 Bridges Community in March this year and made a short film ‘Gratus’ alongside six peers. Through the process Barbara found a passion for advocacy and filmmaking. In this blog, Barbara shares about her experiences from the Dramatic Minds Festival.read more
We were delighted to be given the opportunity to send three of our students to various events this week in the lead up to International Day of People with a Disability. The students presented some of our films and conducted Q & A’s with local community groups and government sectors across Sydney to raise awareness about the abilities of people with a disability. Check out what they said!read more
Rubie Crofts is a creative and energetic designer and artist who’s also dabbled in some acting too. She’s a brilliant ambassador for positive body image and in this latest Bus Stop blog, Rubie shares about her journey with Neurofibromatosis type 1 and the liberation that came when she had her leg amputated six years ago. Since the amputation Rubie has gone onto achieve many personal goals and be a living example that people with disabilities are not limited, they can indeed achieve anything they put their mind to.read more
Alex Bloom is the founder of Script Reader Pro where they help screenwriters to finesse their craft and skills through interactive and hands on exercises. They provide relevant and critical feedback to help writers develop and improve their scripts. Today Alex shares with us his Five-point checklist to writing a great scene.read more
We were excited to be able to support our ambassador Nathan Basha to attend the Byron Bay International Film Festival this year in order to represent the film Heartbreak and Beauty which was selected to screen in competition at the festival. The film was developed over 10 months of filmmaking workshops with 12 students with an intellectual disability. Three students co-directed, Nathan being one of them and 9 students performed. In this blog post, Nathan tells all about the festival and what the experience was like!read more
We were so excited to partner with Panavision, to facilitate some work experience for our wonderful filmmaking student, Rawley Reynolds. Throughout August, Rawley had the opportunity to work with this iconic camera rental house and learn everything there was to learn about cameras, check out his blog on the experience!read more
Sarah’s been with Bus Stop Film’s since the early days, bringing not only enthusiasm and warmth to her role, but 7 years as a teacher and personal development planner for people living with disability. She’s also a warrior of justice, risking her life at times for vital messages to be shared as seen by her work documenting forgotten injustices, particularly within Africa. We were able to catch up with Sarah and learn more about her!read more
I was very excited to have the opportunity to audition for a role on season six of, ‘Offspring’. They were looking for actors to play two blind characters, but wanted to remain genuine by putting authentic casting in action. Unfortunately, there aren’t many blind actors going around these days — many of them have sadly been discouraged in the past from performing on stage and screen, but leaders in the industry like Endemol Shine Australia are helping to change that.
Being blind my whole life, and being an actor, I was fairly confident that I could pull off playing a blind character. But how would this role fit in with the storyline of Offspring?read more
Bus Stop Films (BSF) is excited to welcome Abby Earl, star of Channel 7’s ‘A Place to Call Home’, and Nathan Basha, international speaker and award winning disability employment advocate, into the roles of ambassadors for Bus Stop Films. Together they bring with them a wealth of knowledge about the film industry and a passion to help us usher more diversity and inclusion into our cinematic landscape.read more
Excitingly in April, Bus Stop Films rolled out a 10 week documentary studies program involving 9 individuals who are on a path to recovery following a diagnosis of mental illness. Funded by 3 Bridges Community through their Partners in Recovery (PIR) program, students joined the Bus Stop documentary studies workshops to engage in an accessible ‘film school experience’ — culminating in, ‘Gratus’, a performative, poetic documentary exploring how the quality of gratitude, is an important step in the road to recovery.read more
She’s a dedicated support worker and undercover super woman, lending us a hand for a committed five years at our film studies workshops! These workshops are run through the Inclusive Communities Education Program (ICEP) at Sydney Community College (SCC) – and her support is invaluable to us – we wouldn’t run as smoothly without it! She is truly one of our unsung hero…that we really need to sing a song about!read more
Costume design goes hand in hand with character creation. What is one of the first things we notice about a character on film? How they look – and costume design plays an integral role in this. Our students were able to meet Bek Gould, costume designer for their film project, ‘Kill Off’, where she taught them the craft and processes of what costume designers do, explaining how elements like the clothing and accessories convey the character’s personality, circumstances and adds authenticity to the film.
So how exactly does it do this?read more
We were very proud to be at the helm of bringing Jamie Brewer to Australia to work with our students on our upcoming film ‘Kill Off’. But we wanted to go a step further. Jamie is an advocate and our film industry needs some help in becoming more diverse and inclusive. So we partnered with the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Screen NSW to put on an advocacy night: “An Evening with Jamie Brewer; thoughts and reflections on diversity and inclusion in the film industry.”
Excitement buzzed on the night of May 25th, as Bus Stop Films along with AFTRS and Screen NSW prepared for a night of rich discussion surrounding inclusion and diversity both in front of the camera and behind it.read more
Robin has been participating in film studies at Bus Stop Films since 2011 and over the last four years she has taken a keen interest in directing. She received first-hand experience of the directing process on The Interviewer, and was mentored by Genevieve throughout the making of the film. Robin took to the director’s chair again and directed the “Sisterhood” sequence of Bus Stop’s 2014 experimental film, Heartbreak & Beauty. She loves art and one of her favourite film of all time is Anne of Green Gables.read more
A new chapter opens for Bus Stop Films, as we partner with AFTRS to give our students the quality resources and facilities they all deserve in their pursuit for more knowledge and understanding of the film industry. Opening their doors to diversity and inclusion, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School is set to officially host the first BSF Film Club tomorrow!read more
Some of our lucky Bus Stop Films students had the Condobolin Feature Film Experience a few Tuesdays ago. They trekked the long journey to central NSW town, Condobolin (where Aussie icon, Shannon Noll, shot his (in)famous single, ‘What About Me?’), and helped out behind-the-scenes…as well as on-screen too! What have they gained from this valuable experience?read more
Johanna Garvin is determined to forge a career for herself in the film industry, as a woman living with Cerebral Palsy (CP). She brings a unique perspective to just how exclusive our film industry can be. In this blog, Johanna reflects on the challenges she has been faced with in trying to enter the film industry and causes us to question: why can’t it be different?read more
It goes without saying that actors are a core piece of any film so it’s imperative we choose the right ones. So how do we pick the best actors for our films? Our Bus Stop Films students tackled this issue in recent workshops and were given the great opportunity to put their knowledge to the test by experiencing the auditioning process for themselves, whilst in the seat of the casting director! What are the important four (and fifth implicit) points we need to look for in our acting candidates?read more
Breaking disability stigma and stereotypes, Nathan Basha is a motivational advocate – a speaker for social change. As he likes to say, he might happen to have Down syndrome but, “That’s not who I am.” He is in fact a filmmaker, university student, actor and an assistant at both Nova 96.9 and Taste Creative. Nathan juggles all of that on top of working towards his goal of getting employment for 20 people with intellectual disability – a true wonder human who’s been awarded state finalist for NSW Young Australian of the Year. And he’s charitably taken time out of his busy life to answer a few questions for Bus Stop Films!read more
The film industry is notorious for exclusivity and how difficult it is to get into. It’s because of these barriers that we exist. Since our origins, we’ve been dedicated to building pathways for people who might usually be excluded in society, become included in an industry that is at the forefront of shaping culture and societal views through the power of storytelling.
It’s because of the film industry’s power to influence people that we believe, now, more than ever, diversity needs to be consciously shaped into its structure.
Our media – our film and television – are meant to represent its audience, but in a world that’s multicultural and multifaceted, so much of mainstream film and television still regularly miss the opportunity to tell stories about our diverse and marginalised communities.
So how are we trying to change this?read more
Memorable characters add flavour to your films! They’re one of the many ways your audience can engage with your story. So how do you create amazing characters? How do you get viewers hooked on not yours, but your characters’ stories? How do you mould a being so fantastical, people can’t help but want to know more?read more
It goes without saying that there are many people who make up the incredible team at Bus Stop Films; however it is Genevieve Clay-Smith who is teaching, mentoring and delivering the Bus Stop Films, film studies program. 12 students each year are involved in producing their own film under her guidance. Some of these films have gone on to appear in famous film festivals around the world! So, this week’s blog post explores the day in the life of her role as teacher and mentor at Bus Stop Films!
By Paris Cutlerread more
Bus Stop Films recently held a 10 week course on the study of the romantic comedy genre. Students learned about the conventions of rom coms and how to recognise them in different films that belong to the genre. Emma Brodie was one of our students who partook in the course, she is an avid poet and artist with a deep appreciation for the romantic comedy and romance genres. Here’s her top 7 romantic comedies of all time and a recap on what she learned from our genre study!read more
Bus Stop Films is spreading the word of inclusive filmmaking across the world, and last weekend our film Heartbreak and Beauty won the Jury Award for most Inspiring film at the 2015 South Dakota Film Festival (SDFF) in America’s midwest! Our LA based Co-founder Eleanor Winkler, was fortunate enough to attend and represent Bus Stop Films at the event, check out what she has to say!read more
On September 18th, two of our students, Alessio and Jordon from Bus Stop Films, were invited to explore the set of Sci-Fi Version 1, a new science fiction thriller starring Twilight’s Kellan Lutz and Daniel McPherson. Find out what they learned and saw!read more
Congratulations to Bus Stop Film’s Founder, Genevieve Clay-Smith who was named the Judges’ Choice winner at a celebrity studded gala dinner on Tuesday night held at the Art Gallery of NSW, we couldn’t be more proud!read more
There are so many roles in the filmmaking process, and our students at Bus Stop Films have had the opportunity learn about them all! In our blog post on what’s it like to be a cinematographer also known as a DOP (director of photography), we chat to Bus Stop Alumni, filmmaker, writer and actress, Audrey O’Connor about her experience working as a cinematographer with Henry Smith on our 2012 film, The Interviewer.read more
First we toured the makeup truck which was sooooo COOL! We met the lady who did the makeup for the whole cast and her name is Chiara Tripiodi and she did the makeup for Max in Where The Wild Things Are and won an Emmy which is a great achievement.read more
Genevieve Clay-Smith is currently in LA, with Bus Stop Film’s latest short, Heart Break & Beauty which screened today, to a packed audience! So we thought it was a great time to ask her a few questions.read more