Bus Stop Films

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Bus Stop Films[edit]

Bus Stop Films
Formation2009
FounderGenevieve Clay-Smith and Eleanor Winkler
TypeNon Profit Organisation
HeadquartersSuite 508

50 Holt Street, Surry Hills

NSW 2010, Australia
Key people
Tracey Corbin-Matchett (Current CEO)
Websitehttps://www.busstopfilms.com.au

Bus Stop Films (BSF) is a non profit organisation that provides an attainable film studies program directed to people with an intellectual disability and others from disadvantaged communities. The organisation is voluntarily run and is based in Sydney, with workshops expanding to Canberra and Wollongong.[1][2]. It was co-founded in 2009 by Genevieve Clay-Smith and Eleanor Winkler after the pair worked together on the Tropfest 2009 award winning short film 'Be my Brother'[3]. The organisation's specialises in providing industry experience and employment opportunities on professional sets, education and training resources as well as inclusive filmmaking for people from diverse and marginalized backgrounds[4]. Tracey Corbin-Matchett became CEO in July 2019, succeeding Genevieve Clay Smith, who served as CEO from the organisation's establishment in 2009[5].

History[edit]

File:TropArabia-2011.jpg
Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival, inspired the beginning of Bus Stop Films.

Whilst studying filmmaking at university in 2007, Genevieve received the opportunity to create a documentary for 'Down Syndrome NSW' after replying to a newspaper article at the young age of 19 [6]. She spent time two years working on the documentary, working with 6 families during this "life changing" experience[6]. One of the participants, Gerard O'Dwyer, caught the eye of the inspiring filmmaker after he unexpectedly quoted a soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet during their first meeting. Genevieve wrote a script called 'Be My Brother' in 2008, inspired by Gerard's passion and the barriers the disabled community face constantly [7]. Eleanor Winkler, friend and mentor of Genevieve, accepted the opportunity to work on the project as a producer, providing the knowledge and experience of producing film as well as having previous experience working with disabled people in the film industry during acting workshops [3][8]. Gerard played the lead role in the short film, with a further 5 people with disabilities fulfilling crew roles on set [3]. Filming concluded in 2009 and the film was enter into Tropfest, the world's largest short film festival. 'Be my Brother' won Tropfest 2009 for best short film and Gerard O'Dwyer won best actor at the festival. The success of the short film prompted the beginning of Bus Stop Films as Eleanor and Genevieve wanted to create more projects like 'Be my Brother', combining workshops and practical filmmaking opportunities to people with disabilities who usually face exclusion in education and workplace opportunities [3]. The short film also inspired the name of the organisation, as it was set at a Bus Stop[3].

Mission[edit]

Disabled people are commonly excluded from adequate training and employment due to the social and financial challenges they face which can have a great impact on income, skills and contribution to society [9]. For example, prior to the success of 'Be my Brother', Gerard O'Dwyer found it difficult to be noticed in the film industry due to being a young man with Down Syndrome [10]. The short film's success was the catalyst for the non-profit organization and prompted the overarching goal to demonstrate that "access and involvement make a difference" [9].

Through providing workshop participation and industry experience, Bus Stop Films aims to provide a pathway for participating in filmmaking for marginalised communities, break down barriers of entry to the industry, build skills and allow a safe environment for learning [4]. The company aims to build students confidence to pursue goals and become more independent whilst making students more employable [11].

Bus Stop Films engage in the creation of professional short films to help address societal wide problems regarding the disabled community including raising important awareness, breaking down social stigmas and providing an insight into a different human perspective [4].

Notable Members[edit]

Genevieve Clay Smith[edit]

Genevieve Clay Smith is an award winning writer and director who co-foundered Bus Stop Film along with Eleanor Winkler [12]. Genevieve lived in Newcastle during her childhood and attended the Hunter School of the Performing Arts located in Broadmeadow. The former CEO and current executive director of Bus Stop Films began her career with the filmmaking industry in 2007 after working on a documentary for Down Syndrome NSW, a non-for-profit organisation [12][13]. Her talents regarding filmmaking as well as her passion for human rights was brought to the forefront of the world at the age of 20, after directing and writing the Tropfest 2009 award winning film 'Be My Brother', a film inspired by and starring Gerard O'Dwyer, a participant within the documentary for Down Syndrome NSW. The success of the short film acted as a catalyst for Bus Stop Films and gave Genevieve the opportunity to fulfil her vision of ensuring that ‘inclusion’ is at the foundation of her filmmaking practice. Under her leadership, Bus Stop Films was awarded Community Organisation Award at the 2016 Human Rights Awards[14]. Genevieve has also collect many personal accolades as a result of her work with Bus Stop Films, including the Telstra Business Women’s Emerging Leader (2019), NSW Young Australian of the Year (2015), B&T Women in Media Award for Best Creative (2015) as well as the Australian Directors Guild 2015 Best Direction in a Student Film (2015)[13]. Genevieve is also the co-founder and non-executive director of Bus Stop Film's sister company, Taste Creative, an award winning creative agency and production company[13]. Similarly to Bus Stop, the organisations aims to raise awareness about the importance of inclusion and diversity in the workforce through providing professional development, employment and creative opportunities for people living with disability [15][13].

Eleanor Winkler[edit]

File:TCM Photograph.webp
Photo of Bus Stop Films CEO, Tracey Corbin-Matchett

Eleanor Winkler is an award winning screen producer with over 10 years of experience within the film industry who co-foundered Bus Stop Films along with Genevieve Clay Smith. She is known for producing and managing screen projects, small business and creative teams and is committed in displaying marginalised communities on and off camera to build a stronger and more diverse screen industry [12]. Eleanor is currently producing digital video content for the production company Funny Or Die, foundered by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, along with her work with Bus Stop. Eleanor is best known for her work on The Interviewer, I Am Emmanuel and Hot Date [16].

Tracey Corbin-Matchett[edit]

Tracey Corbin-Matchett is the current CEO of Bus Stop Films after succeeding Genevieve Clay Smith in July of 2019 [17]. Tracey's journey with Bus Stop films began in 2017, bringing 20 years experience of working in state and federal government agencies and communications roles in diverse sectors such as social housing and domestic violence, leading projects that seek to bring greater inclusion, social justice and diversity [18]. She helped launch Women in Film TV Australia to coordinate the Raising Films Australia strategy. Tracey was awarded the Elle Magazine Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Award in 2000 for her community engagement work on social housing estates in South Western Sydney [19]. Tracey has bilateral hearing loss and in her spare time, she is a Director of Deaf Sports Australia [12].

Gerard O'Dwyer[edit]

Gerard O'Dwyer is an Australian Actor who has been a part of the Bus Stop Films Family since the company's inception. Gerard has Down Syndrome and his acting journey began after displaying his acting ability to Genevieve Clay-Smith whilst she was making a documentary for Down Syndrome NSW in 2007 [7]. He starred as the lead in the short film 'Be My Brother', where he was awarded Best Male Actor at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival in 2009, with the short film also being awarded Best Film on the evening [20]. In 2010, Gerard became a co-founding member of ‘Ruckus’, an ensemble consisting of 6 disabled performers who create and produce new theatre [12]. As a result of his work with Bus Stop Films, Gerard has been recognised by the Australian Government in Canberra by being awarded Emerging Leader Award at the National Disability Awards in November 2012. In 2013, he played a key role in the short film, The Interviewer, which won several awards in Australia and internationally with Gerard receiving Best Actor at the ReelheART International Film Festival in Canada [20][12].

Filmography[edit]

Year Project Name Overview
2009 Be My Brother COMEDY-DRAMA

A story about a young disabled man who attempts to change the perspective of two people he meets at a bus stop using a dictaphone and his charm.

  • The film won the best film award and best male actor at Tropfest 2009
  • Gerard O'Dwyer, a young male actor who has Down Syndrome, inspired the creation of the film and played the lead role.
  • Be My Brother has been screen globally and has been used as an educational resource for organisations, schools and communities regarding the inclusiveness of disabled people in the workplace
  • The short film is also listed as a related text for the Higher School Certificate[7][8][21]
2009 Frances And Annie DRAMA, MYSTERY

This short mystery film tells the story of a young woman who faces an unexpected tragedy when visiting her new neighbors, with her judgment on the situation depending on a face and a note[22].

2010 Beautiful The story of two people living with disabilities who build a relationship whilst dealing through family and societal issues.
  • 'Beautiful' was created in Canberra with the help of Through a Different Lens Project and was inspired by the experiences of the disabled people within the area [23].
2012 The Interviewer COMEDY-DRAMA

The award-winning short film about a man called Thomas Howell who endures an unusual interview with a prestigious law firm.

  • The film was made inclusively through a year-long film studies program for people with an intellectual disability, with 12 Bus Stop Film students becoming heavily involves in creating the film entirely from start to finish.
  • 'The Interviewer' premiered at the 2013 Flickerfest Short Film Festival.
  • The film went viral in 2013 after being screened on Arte TV in Germany
  • The film has gone on to play at 45 different festivals, winning 30 awards in the process [24][25].
2013 I Am Emmanuel DRAMA

A story of a young Sudanese male named Emmanuel who is determined to not let his past define his future after fleeing from his worn-torn country.

  • 'I Am Emmanuel' had its world premiere at the 2014 Palm Springs Short Shorts Festival [26].
2014 Heartbreak & Beauty EXPERIMENTAL

An experimental film that explores love, loss, and passion told through poetry, visual metaphors, and dance[27].

2014 Work Mate COMEDY

An innovative short film initiative where an introverted worker tries desperately to avoid his new colleague who is blind, to help celebrate workplace diversity and promote understanding of those living with disabilities.

  • The film was commissioned by Australia Post to be used as a Disability Awareness Training resource within Australia Post[28].
2016 Gambling With Minds EXPERIMENTAL

The short film is a poetic, experimental documentary that voices the experiences of various mental health advocates who have experienced mental illnesses.

  • Bus Stop Films worked with six people who have lived experience of complex mental health issues and who have experienced the Australian mental health system in order to raise awareness and advocate for more mental health awareness in society and suggest changes within the mental health system[29]
2017 Gratus EXPERIMENTAL

The experimental documentary was designed to give a voice to people who have lived or are living through a mental health problem, displaying how gratitude can be used on the road to recovery from a complex mental health issue.

  • The film's idea was inspired by 9 people who had lived through a mental illness after taking part in a 10-week documentary studies program provided by Bus Stop Films in collaboration with 3 Bridges Community.[30]
  • The word Gratus means 'Thankful' in Latin [31]
2017 Kill Off COMEDY-DRAMA

The story of a woman with an intellectual disability who forms an unlikely friendship with a Sudanese refugee at a laundromat after discovering their shared love for krumping.

  • The film stars American Horror Story's Jamie Brewer and was made in association with Sydney Community College and the Flagstaff Group.[32][33]

Awards and Accolades[edit]

Bus Stop Films:[edit]

  • Tropfest - Best Film for “Be My Brother”: 2009 [7]
  • Human Rights and Arts Film Festival award - Best Film for “The Interviewer: 2013 [25]
  • Human Rights and Arts Film Festival award - Best Film for “I Am Emmanuel”: 2015[34]
  • Human Rights Award for Community Organisation: 2016 [14]

References[edit]

  1. "Bus Stop Films". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-01-29.
  2. "Programs". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Our History". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "What we do". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  5. "Bus Stop Films CEO delivers on succession plan". FilmInk. Retrieved 2020-01-30.
  6. 6.0 6.1 White, Sue (2017-01-28). "Meet the boss: Filmmaker Genevieve Clay-Smith". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-05.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Be My Brother". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Be My Brother (2009) - IMDb, retrieved 2020-02-12
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Our Mission". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  10. Partridge, Nicole (2019-01-18). "How Gerard and Genevieve are challenging the film industry". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  11. Clay-Smith, Genevieve (2015). "Thoughts and reflections on engaging people with disability in professional filmmaking".
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 "Team". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "Genevieve Clay-Smith | A storyteller, amongst other things". Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  14. 14.0 14.1 connie.kwan (2016-11-04). "2016-human-rights-medal-and-awards-winners". hrawards.humanrights.gov.au. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  15. "Captivating content". www.tastecreative.com. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  16. "Eleanor Winkler". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  17. "Tracey Corbin-Matchett | 10 daily". 10daily.com.au. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  18. "Tracey Corbin-Matchett / Bus Stop Films". SCREEN FOREVER. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  19. Management, Tailored Communications. "Tailored Communications Management". Tailored Communications Management. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "RUCKUS – Gerard O'Dwyer". ruckus.org.au. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  21. "Be My Brother | Genevieve Clay-Smith". Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  22. Frances and Annie, retrieved 2020-02-12
  23. "Beautiful". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  24. "The Interviewer". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  25. 25.0 25.1 "The Interviewer | Genevieve Clay-Smith". Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  26. "I Am Emmanuel". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  27. "Heartbreak & Beauty". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  28. "Work Mate". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  29. "Gambling with Minds". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
  30. "Gratus". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  31. "BEING: 'Gratus' – A Mental Health Film". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  32. "Kill Off". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-21.
  33. Kill Off, retrieved 2020-02-21
  34. "I Am Emmanuel wins Best Australian Short film - Human Rights Arts and Film Festival". Bus Stop Films. Retrieved 2020-02-21.

See Also[edit]


Bus Stop Films[edit]

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