Fusing talent and creative vision with a strong commitment to social justice, Genevieve Clay-Smith is not just succeeding in a notoriously difficult business – she’s working to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
Clay-Smith first entered the spotlight when her film Be My Brother took out top honours in 2009 at Tropfest, the world’s largest short film festival. A powerful exploration of the life of a man with Down syndrome, the film challenged audiences to look at their own prejudices, and gave a voice to people living with disability.
“I wanted to make film studies accessible to those who might not usually get the opportunity to learn about the subject at university or TAFE.”
It was her first inclusive film, engaging people with disabilities in key crew member roles, and led her to cofound Bus Stop Films, a not-for-profit organisation she runs on a volunteer basis. Bus Stop focuses on creating inclusion within the film industry through providing workshops and training, film production opportunities and work placement for people who identify as having a disability.
“I wanted to make film studies accessible to those who might not usually get the opportunity to learn about the subject at university or TAFE,” she says.
Clay-Smith is also co-founder of Taste Creative, a boutique creative agency focused on crafting brands, advertising campaigns, education and entertainment, and was recently named Australia’s Top Female Creative at the B&T Women in Media Awards.
While other young filmmakers chase fame and fortune, Clay-Smith focuses her time and talents for the benefit of marginalised individuals and communities, and forging new pathways for inclusive opportunities within the film industry. Her dedication to driving social change has seen her named 2015 NSW Young Australian of the Year, and Young Leader category winner in the prestigious Westpac/The Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence in 2014.
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