Different Lens, a 12-part short documentary series produced by Rhythm Content, has made its world premiere on YouTube.
An initiative of Screenwest and Carers WA, the short series offers a fascinating insight into what life is like for 13 Western Australians living with a disability and looks to break down stereotypes and stigmas related to conditions including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, acquired brain injuries, intellectual disabilities, spinal cord injuries and autism.
The 13 storytellers featured in the series were selected as they have all achieved greatness in their respective passions of Sport, Employment and their ability to Disable the Label. The Storytellers are: Malcolm Anderson; Josef Bandera; Katrina Barber & Julianne Ryan; Matthew Bartels; Eleana Bredemeyer; Sue Edge; Tina Fielding; Julia Hales; Curtis Hatton; Madison Heady; Nang Nguyen; and Tayla Stone.
Rhythm Content was provided with a $50,000 production grant to produce the series and provide mentoring to four emerging filmmakers with lived experience of disability. Founders Adam and Gemma Rule handpicked a talented cohort of filmmakers to act as mentors for the initiative including Lauren Elliott, Frank Carroll, Justin Griffiths, John McGovarin, Richard Hubbard, Clare Toonen, Brianna Trinidad, Dave Walters, Joe Wilkie and Justin Braine.
Emerging filmmakers Rafael Gonzales, Mitchell Nock, Joe Teakle and David Thai came on board as crew attachments to develop their skills across writing, directing, cinematography, editing and sound and grow their career potential in the industry.
Paul Rogers, Business Development and Disability Service Manager of Carers WA explained, “Carers WA, through the Different Lens project, have had the great privilege and honour to work with a range of fantastic, creative and talented people, practitioners and mentors over the past year. We hope that through the stories brought forward to the wider community, these videos will showcase the power of diversity in our society. Carers WA would like to thank all those involved, including Screenwest and Rhythm Content, as well as the Department of Communities for funding for the project. We especially thank all those who shared their stories with us.”
Willie Rowe, CEO of Screenwest explained, “We are so incredibly proud to have worked with Carers WA on such a ground-breaking initiative, which has been truly rewarding for the storytellers, filmmakers and the mentors. We can’t wait for the wider Western Australian community to enjoy the stories as they come to life on screen and acknowledge the great work Rhythm Content has done in producing the series.”
The initiative has enhanced Rhythm’s capacity to include practitioners with lived experience of disability, as well as expanded their service offering, which now includes the scriptwriting and production of Audio Descriptions for vision- impaired audiences.
“It’s been such a pleasure mentoring Raf, David, Joe and Mitch and getting to know all of our storytellers. We’re so proud of how the series has turned out and we’ve learned so much as a collective of filmmakers and artists. We’re passionate about telling unique stories and growing our capacity for inclusivity and diversity. We can’t wait for audiences to see what we’ve made,” said Rhythm Content founders Adam and Gemma Rule.
Watch the series HERE.