Rachel Griffiths. (Photo: Lisa Tomasetti)
Actor, director and producer Rachel Griffiths has joined Bus Stop Films as the organisation’s patron.
Griffiths’ appointment comes as Bus Stop Films, which promotes inclusive filmmaking and accessible film studies and employment for people with disability in screen, celebrates 10 years.
Bus Stop Films was established by co-founder Genevieve Clay-Smith after winning Tropfest with her inclusively made film Be My Brother in 2009. Today, Bus Stop Films has produced more than 25 inclusive films, and has won a a number of accolades, including a Human Rights Award. The organisation’s film studies program offers a professional level film education for older teens and adults living with intellectual disability, across four locations, including AFTRS, Fox Studios, Information Cultural Exchange (I.C.E) in Parramatta and, in 2020, the program will be hosted by Screen Canberra and the University of Wollongong, alongside its international program in Mongolia.
As director of Ride Like A Girl, Griffiths authentically cast Stevie Payne to play himself, showcasing his skill as an actor and as a professional strapper who happens to have Down syndrome.
Griffiths says: “I have long admired Bus Stops’ work and their unwavering commitment to inclusion. Genevieve has championed true inclusive filmmaking, engaging people with disability in the process without compromising on story quality or artistic effect. I am excited to be involved with an organisation whose ethos and focus reflects what I see is one of the key powers of film, to change people’s attitudes for the greater good.”
Bus Stop Films CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett says: “We’re thrilled to have Rachel join us on our journey to create inclusive films, provide film studies education and advocate for a more inclusive film industry. For our organisation to be supported by Rachel as our Patron is a gift. We can’t wait to work with Rachel to create greater change in the industry for people with disability, on both sides of the camera.”