Katrina Barber and Julianne Ryan. (Photo: City of Mandurah). 

Screenwest and Carers WA have awarded Perth-based production studio Rhythm Content a $50,000 production grant to produce 12 disability-led short projects and provide mentoring to four filmmakers with a disability.

The funding has been awarded under the Different Lens initiative, a partnership between Screenwest and Carers WA designed to offer screen skills development opportunities for disability diverse screen practitioners, produce local disability-led content, build capacity within the local screen sector to be more inclusive, and promote visibility of disability diverse on screen talent.

Rhythm Content is a creative production studio founded in 2018 by Adam and Gemma Rule. The Different Lens initiative will be facilitated by Rhythm and a cohort of filmmakers who will act as mentors.

“When this opportunity was presented to us we jumped at the chance to work with and support a group of storytellers and filmmakers, led by Screenwest and Carers WA, to produce excellent disability-led content. As a collective of creatives and artists, we each share a passion for telling unique stories about people from all walks of life. The added bonus for our team will be the chance to mentor some up-and-coming talent and grow in our own understanding of what it is like to live with a disability in today’s world. One of Rhythm’s objectives is to be leaders in producing quality, diverse and social impact content, so Different Lens feels like a perfect fit for us,” said Adam and Gemma Rule.

The storytellers selected include Malcolm Anderson, Josef Bandera, Matthew Bartels, Eleana Bredemeyer, Sue Edge, Julia Hales, Tina Fielding, Curtis Hatton, Madison Heady, Nang Nguyen, Julianne Ryan and Katrina Barber, and Tayla Stone.

Filmmakers to be mentored are writer/director attachment Rafael Gonzalez, DOP attachment Mitchell Nock, editor attachment Joe Teakle, and sound attachment David Thai.

The mentors are executive producers Adam and Gemma Rule, producer Lauren Elliott, writer/director Frank Carroll, DOP Justin Griffiths, editor John McGovarin, sound recordist Richard Hubbard and sound designer Justin Braine.

Screenwest CEO Willie Rowe said: “Building the capacity of local screen practitioners to work in a more inclusive way and expand and develop the pool of WA disability diverse screen practitioners is exceptionally important for the vibrant WA screen industry, and we look forward to seeing the documentary series come to life.”

Carers WA business development and disability service manager Paul Rogers said: “Carers WA received support from the Department of Communities to deliver outcomes in three areas: Employment, Sport and Arts and Leisure. In partnering with Screenwest we have already achieved numerous positive outcomes, both intended and unintended, and we look forward to seeing storytellers and screen practitioners with disability working with Rhythm Content to deliver the 12 short filmed projects and many more outcomes in the near future.”

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