Joined Up Films will work with four disability-diverse screen practitioners to tell 15 distinct WA sport stories after being selected to produce a new documentary series from Screenwest and Carers WA.
Pre-production begins next week on Filming Our Futures: Our Choice, Our Voice, which is set to share the experience of Western Australians with a disability that have been afforded opportunities to forge friendships, improve their health and learn new skills as a result of their participation in community sport.
Each three-minute episode of the 15-part series will focus on a different storyteller and respective journeys within clubs that specialise in cricket, football, Judo, Paracanoe, and many more.
As part of the project, four practitioners with a disability will also receive hands-on experience in writing and directing, camera operation, editing, and sound recording.
Rachel Fitzgerald (writer/director), Kaisher Moi (camera operator), Ivica Lendich (editor), Patricia Alessi (sound recordist) had their participation announced alongside Joined Up Films this week after Screenwest invited applications in March.
Joined Up Films has previously produced Bite Club, Secrets of Our Cities, and Is Australia Racist?, and has also recently finished production on a disability-focused episode of What Does Australia Really Think About…. for SBS.
Creative director Dan Brown told IF the WA documentary series was a good fit for what the company was trying to do.
“[Disability] is an area we have done a fair bit of work in across the past 18 months and we thought there was a bit more to do,” he said.
“We jumped at the opportunity.”
Brown, who is originally from the UK, also commended Screenwest for giving up-and-coming practitioners the opportunity to work on the project.
“In somewhere like the UK, where there is a lot of production, people can learn and work their way up through the industry, whereas that’s harder when there is less production around,” he said.
“So it’s crucial that if you are going to develop the next wave of practitioners, they need a chance to get into the industry and see how it works without the pressure of being in that role for the first time.”
Joined Up Films hopes to finish production on the series by November, with plans to screen it online, and potentially with a broadcaster.
Screenwest and Carers WA previously collaborated on last year’s Different Lens documentary series, which was produced by Rhythm Content.
Carers WA business development and disability services manager Paul Rogers said the organisation was excited to again be working with the screen agency, as well as new partner Join Up Films.
“Working to bring diverse stories to the community and encourage positive change in culture and society, attitude and outlook is a passion for us at Carers WA and it is a privilege to be able to work alongside amazing, individual storytellers and talented practitioners,” he said.
The initiative is being funded with the support of Lotterywest.