ABC and Bus Stop Films announce Pathways Strategy placements

Sarah Armstrong and Blaise Borrer.

Emerging filmmakers Sarah Armstrong and Blaise Borrer have been announced as recipients of 12-month placements under the ABC and Bus Stop Films’ inaugural Pathways Strategy.

Starting this month, the pair will work as production assistants with ABC content teams and production companies Fremantle Australia and Flying Bark Productions to build their skills across content development, filming, and post-production. 

Armstrong is a Sydney-based writer, actress and filmmaker, whose credits include her films My Past and Now My Future and My Place in Your Place.

She said she couldn’t wait to work with both the production company and the broadcaster.

“My dream is coming alive to be on the teams at Fremantle Australia and the ABC,” she said.

Borrer, a recent graduate of the AFTRS, started his career creating short films in his hometown of Bellingen, in northern NSW, and has since gone on to work as a script supervisor on ABC Kids’ show Lah-Lah’s Stripy Sock Club.

He said it was an honour to be selected for the strategy.

“I’m incredibly passionate about children’s content, so I’m thrilled to get the opportunity to work with leaders in that area in Flying Bark Productions and the ABC,” he said.

Participating production companies have received inclusive filmmaking training and support from Bus Stop Films as part of the initiative, which was launched at the Screen Forever conference in February.

Bus Stop Films CEO Tracey Corbin-Matchett said the company was pleased to be able to provide support to those involved.

“It’s been an honour to work with the teams at the ABC, Fremantle, and Flying Bark, to ensure they feel confident and culturally aware in supporting their new Pathways interns and others living with disability, in their workplaces,” she said.

“I wish Sarah and Blaise all the best with their amazing new roles.”

The ABC will fund the appointments, which the broadcaster says are in line with its Five-Year Plan 2020-25 to look and sound like contemporary Australia.

“People with disability often face obstacles to employment in the Australian screen industry,” director of entertainment and specialist Michael Carrington said.

“The Pathways Strategy is helping to clear the way by providing opportunity, access, and expertise to emerging production talent.

“We look forward to working with Sarah and Blaise as part of the ABC’s commitment to greater inclusion, on and off-screen, and are proud to help them along the path to flourishing creative careers.”

The strategy is supported by the ABC’s Diversity & Inclusion Commissioning Guidelines – Screen Content and Diversity & Inclusion Plan 2019-2022.