A new WA film project will support people with a disability to break into the film industry, as well as provide a platform to tell their stories.
“Filming Our Future: ‘Our Choice, Our Voice, Our Way’” is run by Screenwest and Carers WA.
The project will fund paid film crew and storytellers with a disability to create 15 short form screen projects to showcase how sports and physical activity can create inclusion and a sense of community.
The films will also allow the creators to showcase what a future of inclusion and accessibility should look like for themselves, their peers and the WA community.
Screenwest Diversity Inclusion Manager Jonathon Messer, who also lives with a disability, said this project is important in the film industry.
“Lack of diversity in terms of disabled voices is something that is very clear in the statistics both coming out of Screen Australia and our quantitative research,” he said.
He also explained why the films are centred around sports and physical activities.
“A lot of disabled people aren’t able to include themselves in leisure and sporting activities and feel socially connected…by creating stories that will have an impact to a wider audience, we’re actually saying these groups of people exist and they can be included and they have a voice,” Mr Messer said.
The project, run by Screenwest and Carers WA, will give $92,000 in funding to a WA Production Company and Producer to help bring these stories to life.
Carers WA Business Development and Disability Services Manager Paul Rogers said the funding will mainly come from the Federal Department of Health as well as other organisations.
They will hire four paid Inclusion Mentees, who live with a disability, for the roles of Writer/Director, Director of Photography, Sound Recordist and Editor.
These roles will be assisted by the production companies’ mentors.
Rogers says that part of the funding is so that people with a disability can get experience in the film industry to help them get a film industry career in the future.
Screenwest have worked with Carers WA previously to produce the ‘Different Lens Initiative’ which gave 12 screen skills paid opportunities to emerging storytellers in the film industry that identified as disability-diverse.
Messer said this was such a success that the two organisations decided to partner again for this project.
Applications are open now and release dates are expected around November.