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Inclusively made feature film “Baby Cat” launches a search for its leading lady!

May 12, 2021

We are set to take our inclusive filmmaking to the next level with the production of our first feature film, “Baby Cat”; and we want to unearth our next leading lady! Today announcing a nationwide casting call for an actress living with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) to play “Sonja” is underway. 

Baby Cat is written by Bus Stop co-founder Genevieve Clay-Smith who is also set to direct; the film will be her feature film directorial debut. Additional story has been provided by Mandela Mathia who will star in the role of “Hakim”, and serve as Executive Producer alongside Nathan Basha and Deanne Weir. Bus Stop co-founder Eleanor Winkler will produce.

The film will be our first inclusive feature film and quite possibly the first ever fully inclusively made feature film in Australia, testament to the growth in their production capacity over the past 12 years. 

Genevieve states “Over the last 7 years, Baby Cat has emerged from Bus Stop’s co-creation model, and we’re excited to be taking next steps with casting to bring our story’s hero to life. To be working with Nathan and Mandela together shows what filmmaking can offer when intersectional inclusion and creative partnerships come together on both sides of the camera. I can’t wait to meet our leading lady.”

Baby Cat is a feel-good comedy drama about Sonja, a vivacious young woman with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) on a journey to prove she can live independently or else risk her grandmother selling the family house and moving her into a group home. 

Our CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett said “I’m proud to see our dynamic organisation showing leadership and maturity in our production capacity. This project will not only produce an amazing inclusively made film, it will also employ a significant number of people living with disability in a variety of roles. Baby Cat will be a case study in both inclusive filmmaking and disability employment and be a project that will change lives and minds through film. I am excited that the search for Sonja is open!

The film is being developed by Bus Stop Films as a co-production and the script development has been proudly supported by Screen Australia, AFTRS and Sydney University.

For more information about the role please email

Media Contact – Tracey Corbin-Matchett
0408 475 736


Australia Wide Casting Call


About the character:

Sonja (23 years old) Leading role

Sonja is a vivacious woman with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) who is struggling to find ways to express herself. Having experienced complex trauma in childhood, she must learn how to channel her feelings of anger in ways which are productive and she must learn that being in control of her destiny, means learning to trust and lean on the advice and support of others. Sonja is incredibly clever, sensitive and she has a wild sense of humour. She calls a spade a shovel and has some real attitude! Her journey is all about harnessing her emotions and learning to become responsible in order to become independent. 

What you need to be confident doing:

You will need to be confident in the following;

  • Working within a team
  • Learning and remembering lines from a script 
  • Letting go of what people think of you so you can freely inhabit the character 
  • Taking direction
  • A love of dancing and singing will be helpful 

If this sounds of interest to you, please email a headshot and little blurb about who you are and any previous performance experience to:

After we receive your email we will be in touch with the next steps on how to audition for the role! Auditions are currently scheduled for:
Saturday June 26th with call backs scheduled for Saturday July 3rd.