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2019 ACDGP grantees

We Can We Are Talented, Bus Stop Films’ Project

Bus Stop Films promote inclusive education in Mongolia through filmmaking and story-telling, as well as teaching social, work ready, language and literacy skills to students with and without disabilities at the Media and Arts School in Mongolia.

Group photo of Cast and crew from the production.
Cast and crew of Stairs, an inclusively-made short film shot in Mongolia, October 2019. Photo by Sarah-Jane Johnson.

Sector: Film and inclusive filmmaking

Grantee: Bus Stop Films

Project description

Bus Stop Films is a pioneering, not-for-profit organisation that uses filmmaking and the film industry to raise the profile of people living with disabilities and other marginalised groups, on both sides of the camera.

Mongolia is a country with many stories to tell. By bringing their program to Mongolia, the all-female crew from Bus Stop Films were able to raise community awareness about disability through a human rights framework and increase the capacity of local emerging filmmakers at an entry level and professional level stage of their careers. Students and local film industry mentors worked together to create an inclusively-made short film, Stairs, about inclusion in Mongolia, and will be used as an advocacy tool to promote inclusion in Mongolian society, the rights of people with disability and how they can have more meaningful lives.

Bus Stop Films in Mongolia was a 12-month program, in partnership with the Arts Council of Mongolia. With local creatives, the program established an Australian made, Accessible Film Studies curriculum in Ulaanbaatar. The program was designed to provide filmmaking workshops for people with intellectual disability to increase their literacy, communication, job-readiness and confidence. For 10 years a similar program has been running in Australia, and not only has it had an impact on the lives of the participants involved, it has also had a major impact in our domestic film industry. Bus Stop Films has been a force for advocating inclusion and diversity in film production and within society at large.

Bus Stop Films’ premiere screenings both at Parliament House in Canberra as part of World Down Syndrome Day 2020 and in Mongolia as part of the Ulaanbaatar International Film Festival (UBIFF) had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19. However the film continues to be well-received by audiences at international film festivals and was featured in the 2020 Asia Pacific Screen Awards programme, Change Makers discussion.

Project start-end dates: October 2019 – April 2020

Country: Mongolia

Total project value: $81,536

Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grant: $57,300

Facebook: Bus Stop Films, World Down Syndrome Day

YouTube: Bus Stop Films, Arts Council Mongolia

Twitter: Bus Stop Films, #inclusivefilmmaking, World DS Day, #LotsOfSocks and DFAT

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