CINEFESTOZ Film Festival kicked off in Bunbury on August 25, headlining with a workshop centered around the inclusion of people in the film industry with disabilities.
The 'Inclusion in Action' workshop event saw around 15 industry professionals and filmmakers gain a better understanding of inclusive filmmaking.
The workshop was co-hosted by Bus Stop Films Chief Executive Officer Tracey Corbin-Machett and Paralympic athletics competitor Paul Nunnari, who both joined the workshop via Zoom due to the current, Covid-19 related lockdown in New South Wales.
Bus Stop Films is a not-for-profit organisation that uses filmmaking and the film industry to raise the profile of people living with disabilities and other marginalised groups.
Ms Corbin-Machett said at least 15 adults living with a disability were always part of Bus Stop Film's productions.
"People living with a disability are often presented as a tragedy, but it's not, it's just another way of being."
Mr Nunnari is a wheelchair user who is 'passionate about equity' for those with disabilities.
He noted how after World War II, those with disabilities were often looked at as a burden who needed to be treated or cured; the 'medical model' of disability.
"I want to change this. A lot of movies still depict those with disabilities as needing to be institutionalised or live at home," Mr Nunnari said.
"Disability is not a negative word, let's turn it on it's head."
The workshop was supported by Bus Stop Films, the South West Development Commission and Carers Western Australia.
Participants also had the opportunity to speak to past experiences and understand how the film industry can strengthen inclusion in the workplace.
Disability is not a negative word, let's turn it on it's head.Paul Nunnari
Jaimen Hudson was at the event with Director Leighton De Barros, who's film 'Jaimen Hudson: From Sky to Sea' is part of the feature film program in the festival.
The documentary follows Esperance-based Mr Hudson on his quest to become the world's first underwater cinematographer with quadriplegia.
Films promoting inclusion of people with disabilities in the 2021 festival program include New Zealand feature film 'Poppy' and short films 'Filter' and 'Sparkles'.
CinefestOz Film Festival runs from August 25 to 29.