Bus Stop Films: 18 ‘inclusively made’ shorts to tour Australia

The touring films were created by 180 filmmakers, all young adults with mild-to-moderate intellectual disability or autism.

Bus Stop Films’ Accessible Film Studies Program has announced a national tour of Australia, featuring 18 inclusively made short films, and kicking off with a gala event in Perth on 3 December hosted by Australian actor Julia Hales.

The films were created by 180 filmmakers, all young adults with mild-to-moderate intellectual disability or autism. The participants in the Accessible Film Studies Program worked with their tutors to create short films alongside industry professionals who mentor the students on set.

The films include dramas, documentaries and comedies, and a WWE inspired rock musical. 

Bus Stop Films, winner of the 2023 SPA Award for Breakthrough Business of the Year, is a disability-led not for profit social enterprise that uses filmmaking and the film industry to raise the profile of people with disabilities, on both sides of the camera. It makes films with, for and about people with disability and from diverse communities and backgrounds.

Bus Stop’s COO and resident producer Dianna La Grassa produced the films, together with co-producer Cyna Strachan and a team of ten Inclusive Producers’ Attachments, who were supported by the state screen agencies Screen NSW, VicScreen, SAFC, Screen Tasmania, Screen Canberra, Screen Queensland and ScreenWest and by Screen Producers Australia.

The gala events bring #inclusivefilmmaking to the big screen and celebrate the creativity, passion and hard work of Bus Stop Films’ industry mentors, cast, crew and supporters. 

The series of accessible events kick off in Perth on International Day of People with Disability on Sunday 3 December, with Brisbane on 5 December, Launceston on 6 December, Melbourne on 7 December, Adelaide on 12 December, Canberra on 13 December and Sydney on 14 December.

Hosts of the galas are Julia Hales in Perth, actor Anna McGahan in Brisbane, Love on the Spectrum star Ronan Soussa together with comedian Elle Dawe in Sydney, comedian and proud Ngarrindjeri woman Kimmie Lovegrove in Melbourne, body positivity advocate April Watson in Canberra, Mayor of Launceston Mathew Garwood in Launceston and, in Adelaide, local actor Alirio Zavarce.

Bus Stop Films’ CEO, Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM, said: ‘I am so proud of our students, and I can’t wait to watch their films with our generous Bus Stop community. Our Showcase events always leave my heart bursting.’ 

Further information and tickets can be found online.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites