DisRupted: Three Short Films about Disability

DisRupted: Three Short Films about Disability

The DisRupted series features three short children’s films that were commissioned to premiere on the 2019 International Day of People with Disability (IDPWD). This day is held annually to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability, and celebrate their achievements and contributions.

The three DisRupted films were led by emerging Australian creatives with disability, and they aimed to share the experience of being a young person with a disability in Australia. Teachers, are you looking for engaging resources ahead of this year’s IDPWD? These funny and clever stories will challenge students to reflect on the experience of disability, and the importance of accessibility and inclusion.

In Rocky & Me, 11-year old Stella gets her first wheelchair, and along with it, her independence. Stella names her first set of wheels ‘Rocky’. This wheelchair means Stella can finally keep up with her mates, giving her a sense of freedom and confidence that she’s never experienced before. Stella is a passionate swimmer, but until now she only swims in secret. The new lifeguard, Roxie, offers to coach her – and Stella feels like she has something to prove to her classmates.


Our newest resource, the Rocky & Me Teaching Toolkit, will support Year 5 and 6 teachers and students in exploring themes from the film.

And Then Something Changed tells the story of eight-year old Louis waking up to a school day where nothing is quite right. Gone are the motorised backpacks, electric stairs, self-dressing clothes and elevating floors that Louis relies on. In this film we discover what it’s like to be a child with Achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, and what it’s like to navigate a world that isn’t built for you. Portraying a realistic and un-sensationalised representation of a ‘day in the life’ of Louis – through his reflections – explores a present-day world where accessibility is still an issue.


And Then Something Changed recently won the 2020 MIPCOM Diversify TV Excellence Award for ‘Representation of Diversity in Kids Programming’.

In The Legend of Burnout Barry, Wheely, Brent and Shay are an inseparable trio of teenagers, hell bent on having a good time and pushing the limits of whatʼs possible. When speed demon and record holder Josh ‘Wheely’ Wilson learns that there might be someone in town faster than him, he sets about finding an elusive legend by the name of Burnout Barry – to challenge him to a race. But when his obsession with being the record holder becomes more important than his friends, Wheely risks losing more than just the title.


These three films are currently streaming on ABC iview, and can be purchased from the ACTF Shop individually or as a series.