Netflix has partnered with Bus Stop Films, an organisation whose core mission is to make films with, for and about people from diverse backgrounds and abilities, to support its 2023 Showcase — a national tour featuring eighteen short films inclusively made by 180 filmmakers with mild/moderate intellectual disability or autism, produced through Bus Stop Films’ Accessible Film Studies Program.
Netflix is also supporting the placement of a paid intern, to be selected and supported in partnership with Bus Stop Films, as an attachment on an upcoming Netflix production in Australia.
When it comes to the tour’s target communities, Bus Stop Films’ CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM, says it will “… re-frame how they feel about disability and bring such pride to our participants and their local communities who worked on the films. Our Launceston program is just three amazing young people with disabilities and they have made this awesome film called Ron’s Creek, starring Rhys Muldoon about a small town grappling with bad internet. It’s hilariously funny and so very Tasmanian. We shot it in a tiny town called Lilydale, about 30 minutes from Launceston and it is brilliant. The class are so proud of their film, and they should be, the film will show them, their families and their community their creativity, skill and humour. And after the Showcase, the films will be entered into festivals around the world, taking their message of advocacy with them.”
Accoridng to Corbin-Matchett, attachment programs, such as the one Netflix is supporting, “… not only offer paid employment to a person with disabilities, which means income, capacity building and networking, they will also build confidence in the cast and crew they work with to feel more at ease in working alongside or employing people with disability.”
Bus Stop Films is currently in final development of its first feature film, Baby Cat, which will be a fully inclusively made production, and feature Olivia Hargroder, an actor with Down syndrome, in the lead role.
The copany is hosting Australia’s first ever Summit to explore disability employment in film, TV and commercial production. The event will be held at Bondi Beach in late 2024, and will explore, elevate and celebrate the employment of people with disability across the screen industry, on both sides of the camera and above and below the line.