Capturing Unique Spirits

Ryan Gittoes with Brodie Reeby
Ryan Gittoes with Brodie Reeby

The incredible spirit of Tamborine Mountain people with a disability will be captured in a new documentary filmed by local videographer, Ryan Gittoes.

The short film will showcase the inspiring stories of people from Tamborine Mountain Lions inclusion program known as Mountain Mates, exploring their lives and journeys and the key role that the organisation has played.

“They are all beautiful, wonderful young people,” Ryan said, preferring to describe them as having unique abilities.

“When people are supported, they grow into the people they are. Seeing someone do that is the most profoundly beautiful experience especially for people who may face challenges.

“What they have going on is a special, unique connection that you don’t see very often. There is a wonderful rapport between the guys, the family and the community. It has come together so beautifully.

Ryan has worked with people with people with a disability for about 16 years as support worker and loves using the arts to help them flourish. 

His introduction to Mountain Mates came through supporting Mountain Mate participant, 25-year-old Keegan Jones, who has been learning the art of film making and editing with Ryan.

About 12 months ago he began to explore the idea of making a documentary with Mountain Mates facilitator and Lions Club member, Janis Bailey.

“Lions and Mountain Mates are beyond thrilled that Ryan is making the video, and that some of our talented Mountain Mates are helping with its production,” Janis said.

“We think the ethos of Mountain Mates – more inclusive communities are essential and they aren’t hard to create – is one everyone needs to hear.”

Receiving a grant of $6000 from the Regional Arts Development Fund has allowed them to produce the documentary, which will be screened at Zamia Theatre Ryan hopes within 12 months.

“I’m passionate about supporting people with unique abilities because they can often feel isolated and like they are not included,” he said.