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Jul 04, 2023

Northcott and Bus Stop Films partner to make inclusive filmmaking


About VALIANT and how it was made

VALIANT is a short, educational film exploring bravery in relationships for people with disability. Created as an education resource, the content for VALIANT was developed by adults with disability, including Vaughn, who attended workshops run by Bus Stop Films and Northcott. During the workshops, Northcott’s team provided information about healthy relationships and consent. Northcott supported the students to develop a storyline based on what they wanted other people to know about relationships for people with disability.

“The workshops were different but fun!” said Vaughn. “The main thing we wanted the film to show was that it doesn’t matter if you have a disability or not, all people have the right to explore their sexuality and have a relationship.”

Once the filming began, Vaughn also got the chance to be on set.

“I found it interesting to learn about the cameras used on set. I really liked that [the writer and director] put our ideas on film,” he said.

Vaughn was also pleased to see same-sex couples represented in the storyline, as well as people with disability acting in VALIANT.

Acting in VALIANT

Ricky and Dina, two of the actors with disability starring in VALIANT, also shared their thoughts on the project. Ricky and Dina have been married for four years. In VALIANT, they portray a married couple dealing with intimacy and consent issues.

“Because I’ve mainly been doing behind the scenes film work, I found being in front of the camera new to me and quite exciting,” Ricky said.

“I feel like because I’m in a relationship, it was a good experience to present a real couple who have been together quite a while and show that it is possible to be a person with disability and have a relationship and do what anyone does,” he said.

VALIANT as an education tool

Having now seen the final cut, Vaughn, Ricky and Dina all believe the film will be a great resource for people with disability and the wider community.

Dina thinks the film will be useful for anyone who wants to be in a relationship and see what it’s like. She believes VALIANT will “help people in relationships manoeuvre their way around sexuality and relationship issues”.

“I hope VALIANT helps people with disability understand how relationships work and realise it’s not all about rushing into things. I’m pleased that [by being involved] I can help people learn about relationships and, in particular, consent,” she said.

Vaughn said, “VALIANT a great film to show that we can do whatever we want. It will be good to show parents of people with disability so they can see and learn that people with disability can have a range of relationships and sexuality.”

And as for a future in film…Vaughn said he enjoyed the experience with Bus Stop Films and is keen to do more film projects like VALIANT – watch out Hollywood!

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