CinefestOz 2021 partners with Bus Stop Films to host disability workshops

Disability Minister Don Punch, CinefestOZ film manager Chanel Bowen, CinefestOZ chief executive Malinda Nixon, South West Development Commission chief executive Melissa Teede, CinefestOZ Bunbury events manager Sarah Jane Bilston, and Maker + Co customer experience officer Tash Pears. Photo supplied.
Disability Minister Don Punch, CinefestOZ film manager Chanel Bowen, CinefestOZ chief executive Malinda Nixon, South West Development Commission chief executive Melissa Teede, CinefestOZ Bunbury events manager Sarah Jane Bilston, and Maker + Co customer experience officer Tash Pears. Photo supplied.

A valuable training workshop is set to go ahead at this year's CinefestOZ Film Festival as the event team engage with Bus Stop Films to spearhead employment opportunities in the screen industry for people living with a disability.

Developed by film industry professionals from diverse backgrounds and abilities, Inclusion in Actionwill educate its participants on the correct discourse and inclusion practices to undertake when working with people of unique needs.

The workshop will be a Bunbury based event at Maker + Co on August 25, Bus Stop Films chief executive officer Tracey Corbin-Machett and paralympian Paul Nunnari will facilitate the workshop.

CinefestOZ film manager Chanel Bowen was proud to bring the training to WA film practitioners and said it would be helpful to all participants whether they had lived experience of disability or not.

"It is imperative we help to offer an educational platform for practitioners to develop their awareness of cast, crew, and stories of disability," she said.

"Making sure the film industry has safe and inclusive spaces for practitioners with disability is what this is all about."

Ms Bowen is a WA film practitioner and programmer living with disability and understands first-hand the struggles faced by other practitioners in accommodating unique needs.

"I know firsthand what practitioners may have experienced within our industry, and with Inclusion in Action we hope to take a step towards preventing people from feeling uncomfortable in their own work place," she said.

Boasting strong support and advocacy from the office of Disability Minister Don Punch, Inclusion in Action will also bolster the diverse offerings by CinefestOZ for years to come.

"Inclusion in Action is a unique workshop for WA screen industry professionals, focusing on how the filmmaking industry can provide increased pathways for people living with disability," Minister Punch said.

"I am delighted Bunbury has secured the hosting rights for this valuable workshop on the renowned CinefestOZ 2021 program," he said.

Funding provided by the South West Development Commission has also been a welcomed benefit for the workshop which will allow Bus Stop Films and CinefestOZ to put their best foot forward.

The commission has also provided important funds for CinefestOZ's Industry Program.

Commision chief executive Mellisa Teede acknowledged the work of the CinefestOZ in building the region's film industry, including through professional development and raising awareness.

"We are pleased to back CinfestOZ's efforts to promote employment opportunities in the film industry and representation on screen by people of diverse backgrounds," Ms Teede said.

Bus Stop Films chief executive Tracey Corbin-Machett said she was thrilled to bring the workshop to WA.

"Inclusion in Action is an inclusive, engaging and informative workshop to help people better understand the rights and capacity of people living with disability in the screen industry," she said.

"We developed the Program in response to queries from companies on how to open pathways to employment and improve the engagement of people living with disability on both sides of the camera."

Ms Cobin-Machett said she was excited to partner with CinefestOZ in 2021.

Those interested in attending the workshop can sign up online from today.

CinefestOZ thanks Presenting Partner Tourism WA, Premium Partners Screenwest and City of Busselton and Community Partner Rio Tinto. The festival acknowledges its strong support from Lotterywest and Screen Australia.