WHO WE ARE
Divergent Studios is a Screen Production company built around the idea of encouraging and providing a platform for neurodiverse individuals to showcase their skills and capabilities and providing a space for neurodiverse storytelling and inclusion, as well as providing education and support surrounding neurodiversity in the screen industry.
But we are also so much more than that.
Divergent Studios is about Advocacy, it's about bringing positive change through education, it's about creating inclusive, safe spaces and building confidence, it's about challenging the status quo.
Divergent Studios was born out of the personal struggles, discrimation and lack of understanding that its founder, Matt Bruyninckx, incurred by being an Autistic individual.
Having been bullied and gaslit in corporate environments, and made to feel less than, and also having struggled to participate on sets as an actor due to lack of understansding and supports, Matt then spoke to other like-minded, neurodiverse people, who all had similar stories.
Stories of workplace bullying and discrimination, stories of not participating in activities they enjoyed as they felt unwelcomed, or the anxiety and stress of these activities was overwhelming, and so many of them just stopped pursuing hobbies and careers they enjoyed as it burned them out.
Divergent Studios is about flipping the script, changing an industry, and showing that you can create inclusive, safe spaces and still achieve goals and create quality content and work, infact, studies have shown that changes that make life better and more inclusive for people with disabilities generally is a quality of life improvement for everyone.
We aren't afraid to be scene differently!
Matt has always had a passion for the arts and creative expression. Since being diagnosed Autistic in 2019, Matt has directed his passion towards advocacy for and education surrounding neurodiverse people within the workplace.
In 2022 he was accepted into the highly contested Neurodiverse Leadership Program offered by the Sylvia Rodger Academy and has also partaken in leadership training through Rotary International, serving as President of a Rotary Club for 2 years.
He continues to channel this learning and experience into developing neurodivergent safe spaces in the arts. Matt is a seasoned actor, writer, and producer, who has worked in both the Screen and Music Industries as an actor, musician, manager, and event’s organiser, amongst other talents.
Matt also has over a decade of experience as an IT engineer and Team Leader, with a Cert. IV in Business studies. As the director of Divergent Studios Matt brings a wealth of knowledge and a strong commitment to the ethos of “we’ll find a way.”
Sally has been an active member in Perth’s screen industry since 2015 and has always been drawn to projects that help build strong communities. With her keen eye for directing screen acting, Sally has coached several actors into booking national and international film and television roles.
Sally has also worked as an on-set coach for TeenV’s web-series What We See (dir. James Bogel) and the feature film Below (dir. Maz Lahooti). Outside of coaching Sally has seen success as a voice-over artist, immersive theatre performer and is a core artist of Feet First Collective.
Sally is a driven and dynamic performer who has been cast as a lead in the short films, The Big Day and Disenthrall. Overall, Sally is a strong improvisor, has a natural comedic ability and a special knack for accents, all of which help create a fun and nurturing environment when teaching acting, so others can feel confident to experiment and play.
Sally is a member of WIFT Australia and a qualified Contact Officer, with a passion for giving a voice to those who are marginalised.
Rachael is a Perth-based actor and writer on the Autism Spectrum. She was diagnosed at age 16, and then later diagnosed with ADHD at 22.
Growing up in Melbourne she always felt connected to people through movies and literature. She began acting through role play scenarios with Victoria Police, and when she moved to Perth, she sought out acting classes to hone her craft.
She has since been cast as a support role in the web series What We See (dir. James Bogel) and was a voice-over artist on the short film Overwritten (dir. Jack Ruefli).
Aside from her creative endeavours, Rachael has completed various business studies units at TAFE, and is currently completing a certificate IV in bookkeeping.
Lauren is an actor, teacher and producer with a special interest in physical theatre and devising. Having been immersed in the arts from a young age, Lauren has always thrived on being able to form strong relationships with fellow artists and learn nor only from her teachers but also from her peers.
Lauren is a Core Artist and Associate Producer with Fremantle based theatre company, Feet First Collective. With a strong background in theatre and movement, she enjoys finding new and exciting ways to approach new characters and create exciting, nuanced performances that push boundaries and ask important questions of her audience. Lauren’s work has taken her all over stages in Perth, Adelaide, and most recently to Melbourne for her critically acclaimed performance in Vivienne Walsh’s This Is Where We Live for Melbourne Fringe.
Lauren has been working as an arts educator since 2015, and is excited to bring her approach to acting the Divergent Studios team. As a teacher, Lauren has always believed in the importance of creating a safe and respectful space where people can feel confident to make offers and fully commit to their choices and performances with the support of everyone in the room. She prides herself on her ability to create strong and cohesive teams that not only produce high quality performances, but have fun and build friendships while doing it.