MEDIA RELEASE 8 August 2023
Inclusive Filmmaking heads to Scenic World
Blue Mountains, Australia, Bus Stop Films award-winning Accessible Film Studies Program for people with living with disability is bringing inclusive filmmaking to Scenic World, with their latest short film project made through their Blue Mountains class “Smoke and Mirrors”.
Smoke and Mirrors was written by tutor, Benjamin Mair together with the amazing participants of the Blue Mountains program. The film is a Japanese inspired action adventure and will see actor Kimie Tsukakoshi (The Bureau of Magical Things) return for a second Bus Stop Films production, on the back of her lead role in their 2022 Brisbane class film “Hell Yeah”.
Director Ben Mair’s passion for filmmaking and social justice inspired philanthropist Mary-Ann Lopez to generously support the film. He says “The project started off as a play on themes of love and family. In the creative process it became about inner-strength, something the students of Blue Mountains 2023 have in abundance. I’m grateful to have so much support to bring this story to life”
Scenic World Head of Marketing, Axel Moline, says “Scenic World prides itself on being an accessible experience for everyone and we love to support the local creative community. So we were thrilled to be approached by Bus Stop Films and their inclusive production to use our site as their location.”
This is the second year of the Program being delivered in the Mountains, and the team has high expectations for this year’s film after the brilliant performances in their 2022 film Head Over Wheels, which was directed by Wentworth Falls filmmaker, acclaimed director and Bus Stop Films Co-Foudner, Genevieve Clay-Smith and starred Wimbledon Champion Dylan Allcott alongside Caitlin Green. The films screen at Bus Stop’s end of year showcase events and then are entered into film festivals around the world.
Bus Stop’s CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett OAM says “The class has worked so hard on their project and not only will the shoot celebrate kindness, creativity and community, the production will employ a number of local crew and inject over $20,000 to the region. I am so grateful to our staff, students, cast and crew and our very generous supporters.”
The 40 week Accessible Film Studies Program is a brilliant post school option and is open to people 17 years and over living with an intellectual disability or autism. Run from February to December, the Program is delivered in weekly, three-hour classes on Monday mornings at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, with generous support from Blue Mountains City Council.
The Program is delivered by passionate filmmakers and industry experts and gives participants exclusive opportunities to visit film production companies, work with professional filmmakers, learn both theoretical and practical approaches, and create award winning films through a film school experience. Program fees can be paid through a participant’s NDIS package. Beyond their film industry exposure, participants also develop improved social, communication and work ready skills. Our students have gone onto work on projects such as Neighbours, Marvel’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Masterchef and Survivor.
Across 2023 participants in the Blue Mountains program experienced guest tutors delivering classes in special effects makeup, cinematography and production design. Some participants also worked in paid roles on a number of commercial screen productions.
For more information and to register for the 2024 classes: