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On the red carpet
23 February 2015
Devised over a period of 10 months by 12 people living with an intellectual disability, Heartbreak and Beauty is an experimental short film that combines music, visual metaphor, dance and original poetry to express how we are all connected through our shared human experiences of love and loss.
Directed by Genevieve Clay-Smith an award winning film maker, NSW Young Australian of the Year and winner 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence, the film continues her desire to ensure there are accessible pathways for people to access the creative arts.
Through her not-for-profit organisation, Bus Stop Films, which she runs voluntarily, Genevieve works with diverse and marginalised communities to create short films that voice their experiences.
“Everyone has a right to access the arts and no one should feel like they are unable to participate. The film industry in particular is hard to crack for both actors and people who want to work behind the scenes alike. It's hard enough for a person without a disability to get work in the industry, let alone for those who do identify as having a disability.
“Even if a person has a slight interest in participating and being involved within the industry, it doesn't have to be some, distant far off dream!”
Heartbreak and Beauty is a further step in the process. As part of his pro bono work Kevin McKenzie London worked on the hair for the actors, crew and the film’s makers for the film’s recent red carpet launch in Sydney.
Ruby snapped the backstage preparations. One of the young actors was keen, when asked what she wanted, to resemble Grace Kelly. The young stylist was overheard to ask, who’s that?
Genevieve hosts weekly filmmaking workshops and voluntarily provides mentorship and learning opportunities. In 2009, Genevieve’s film Be My Brother won first prize at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival. The film, which explores the life of a man with Down syndrome, was acclaimed for how it broke down social stigmas surrounding disability, whilst also engaging people with a disability to fulfil roles as crew members. I am Emmanuel, a short film examining the challenges faced by African Australian refugees, screened internationally in 2014.
Guests included the Governor of NSW David Hurley, Carnival’s CEO Ann Sherry, and business woman Wendy Simpson.