Award winner screens inclusive films at BBFF

Films made with the help of those who are often sidelined and voiceless will be given a voice in the upcoming 2015 Byron Bay International Film Festival.

Genevieve Clay-Smith will be screening two of her inclusively made short films at the Byron Bay International Short Film festival the which will be held from March the 6 – 14.

Clay-Smith who took out 2015 NSW Young Australian of the Year and the 100 Women of Influence, Young Leader award in 2014, for her work with no-for-profit Bus Stop Films, is excited that her work will be help audiences better understand some of Australia’s marginalised communities.

I Am Emmanuel is a dance-drama film, which chronicles the journey of Emmanuel, an 18-year-old South Sudanese refugee who longs for connection in his new found home. Clay-Smith collaborated with two South Sudanese refugees on the project, Noel Franco and Mandela Mathia. The inclusive filmmaking process reaped great results for the co-collaborators, with Franco gaining employment on Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken and Mathia gaining development funding for a one-man theatre show, to be directed by Clay- Smith.

‘Inclusive filmmaking is all about helping members of a marginalised community, benefit from the process of making a film alongside professional mentors’, says Genevieve.

Work Mate, a short comedy which explores themes to do with inclusion in the workforce, and which engaged 12 people with an intellectual disability in work experience positions on set, will be shown to 1000 children in the festival’s schools program.

Work Mate helps people understand that the fear of being politically incorrect, can cause barriers to connecting with a person with a disability, we have to open to engaging with out that fear, to encourage inclusion in the workforce’, says Clay-Smith.

Now in its 9th year, the Byron Bay International Film Festival is Australia’s largest film festival. It’s 10-day program boasts a versatile array of short films and feature films from 35+ countries across 50+ sessions within 5 venues in 3 regional centres.

‘This year’s festival is all about celebrating the unique experience we gain by leaving the comfort of the couch and attending a grassroots film festival like Byron Bay International Film Festival’, says Festival Director, J’aimee Skippon-Volke.

The festival will once again be hosting its iconic Full Moon Beachside Screening. An event which attracts thousands of people with picnics in tow to a night of free live music and cinema under the stars with the backdrop of the Byron lighthouse.

Official program announced and tickets on sale Monday 23 February 2015 at

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