Joni dared to think what's possible
I first heard about the Bus Stop Films filmmaking course through a few of my school friends and thought it sounded like lots of fun. Then in early 2015 I went to the special screening of the two short films they had made - “Heartbreak and Beauty” and “The Interview”. I was amazed by what they had achieved and seeing their talents on the screen, it was just so inspiring. Straight away I said to myself “Yes this is something I want to do”!
I remember telling my mum about it that night and saying that I really wanted to give the Film Making course a go. So, my mum enrolled me in, and as they say the rest is history.The first day I attended the film making course at Rozelle I was really nervous, but at the same time felt quite excited. As soon as I saw a friend of mine, who was also starting the course, my face lit up light a light bulb and my nerves went away. I remember how friendly everyone was and I especially remember meeting Genevieve, she was warm and welcoming and made us feel excited and at ease at the same time.
Last year my class made a short film called “Kill Off” which was such an amazing experience and something I’ll never forget. Being on the set of a film and watching it all come together was absolutely mind blowing and it was so rewarding to see all our hard work on the screen.
We had a premiere night in September at AFTRS. I spoke that night in front of over 1,000 people about what we have learnt during the course, what it was like making the film and how proud I was of my peers and myself for we had accomplished. Through making the film I made so many new friends and they will always be a big part of my life. I’ve been doing the course now for almost 2 years and I'm still loving it. The Bus Stop Films family is growing and currently has 3 classes that run on Sunday. A beginners class, an intermediate class, which I'm in, and the third class which is the Film Club. My best friend has joined the beginners class this year and is loving it.
At the Human Rights Awards last year I made the acceptance speech on behalf of Bus Stop Films when they won the Community Organisation Award and what a wonderful moment that was - it felt like winning an Oscar only there was no red carpet.
Absolutely Bus Stop Films has changed my life. It’s made me a lot more confident and has helped me to believe in myself. I now know I can do anything if I have a positive mind and attitude. Just because I have a disability that doesn't mean I can't do it and I will not let that define who I am and stand in the way of my hopes and dreams. Because of my involvement with Bus Stop I had an opportunity that changed my life. I was one of the lucky three young people with an intellectual disability to score a paid internship through Screen NSW. From February 6th to March 3rd I interned at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), working in the office and on set of the much loved children's program “Play School”. I had an amazing time there and met some wonderful people as well as the real heroes of the show…..the toys (my a favourite is Scrap the Dog and I also have a soft spot for Little Ted). I even helped down in design, making the props and it was so cool to see the things I had made on the big screen. During the internship I learnt a lot from my great mentors and I discovered some things about myself…..given the opportunity and guidance I can actually do many things I thought I impossible.
After the internship it made me really realise that I want to work in the film industry - that’s my passion! I would like to do acting, directing and design. Unfortunately, my internship did not lead to a permanent position, but I'm not giving up. I'm going to keep putting myself out there and asking until I get a job in the industry because I believe that I can do it.
Bus Stop Films has given me amazing opportunities, belief in myself and opened my eyes to what I would like to do with my future. They have changed my life and inspired me and I'll forever be so grateful.
Bus Stop Films shares the artistry of making films in an inclusive way: