Bus Stop Films have announced two candidates from its Employment program have been selected to participate in the Neighbours Training Program, a Fremantle and VicScreen initiative.
Rhys Ballis (pictured left) and Charlotte Best (pictured right) have both been involved in the production of short films, and will now work closely with the Neighbours’ team on all facets of the filming process over the coming months.
The Neighbours Training Program, fully-funded by VicScreen, was expanded when the long-running series commenced filming again in April. It is now the largest training enterprise for a single production in Australia providing unique fully-paid training opportunities across a spectrum of above and below the line production specialties including directing, writing, production, postproduction and on-set crew positions. Partnering with Bus Stop Films opens opportunities for emerging creatives with disabilities to gain invaluable knowledge in a culturally safe environment.
Caroline Pitcher, VicScreen CEO, said: “VicScreen is proud to continue its collaboration with Fremantle and Bus Stop Films to deliver this major on-the-ground training initiative for Victorians who are starting their careers in screen. Congratulations to Charlotte Best and Rhys Ballis, on being selected to participate in the Neighbours’ Training Program.”
Bus Stop Films is an inclusive filmmaking organisation working with deaf, disabled, and neurodiverse people to help them achieve employment goals within the screen industry.
Andrew Thompson, Neighbours’ Series Producer, said: “This is a proud collaboration between Bus Stop Films, VicScreen and Fremantle. It’s an important education tool that we are confident will lead to more opportunities for training and on-going employment for people with disabilities in an industry that strives for inclusiveness. We are delighted to welcome Rhys and Charlotte and look forward to their input in the new chapter of Neighbours.”
Bus Stop Employment General Manager, Sarah Jane Johnson, said, “Supporting participants like Charlotte and Rhys to achieve their employment goals makes my job so rewarding. The Fremantle and Neighbours team have shown ground-breaking leadership in inclusive recruiting, and I look forward to working with other productions keen to jump on board the bus.”
Charlotte Best said, “I have felt so supported by Bus Stop Films during my journey as a young adult in the film and television industry. I’m very thankful to have this opportunity to work and train in the industry with such an iconic Australian program and hope I can make the industry proud.”
Rhys Ballis said, “I am absolutely thrilled and thankful for this incredible opportunity to be a part of the Neighbours crew through Bus Stop Films. This experience is a dream come true, allowing me to learn from such talented professionals and work on such an iconic production. Not to mention that it’s pretty cool working on a show that my mum grew up watching. Being part of this inclusive and diverse community makes me proud as I can showcase my abilities and build meaningful connections for my future career.”