Highlight: Call Connect

Mental Filmness is almost here! Leading up to the festival, we intend to post a little information for each film that is playing, because we just don’t have enough room in a program to highlight what is wonderful about them!

It seems appropriate to start with “Call Connect,” which was the first film to pretty much unanimously blow the judges away. We knew it would be in the festival the moment we watched it, because not only did it perfectly fit our mission of promoting empathy for mental illness, it was just a tense, beautifully-made film with captivating performances and simple camerawork moving from long-take to close-up that conveyed building emotions.

The simple 16-minute short tells the story of a new crisis hotline worker (played with brilliant vulnerability by Caithlin O’Loughlin) who, in the midst of her training, is forced to take her first call when there is no one else around. The voice acting of Brendan Rock, equally powerful, expresses a type of suicidal ideation you don’t always see portrayed in films, that of someone who isn’t distressed so much as tired: someone who has been around the block, tried this before, called this line, and makes the new girl’s job even harder because he’s already heard every platitude she could think of to utter.

Fun fact: “Call Connect” screened before Fantastic Fest favorite “Chained For Life” at the 2019 Revelation Festival. Mental Filmness organizer Sharon Gissy cited “Chained For Life” as her favorite movie of last year, and this was the first film she screened for Mental Filmness. In so many ways, this pairing seems like it was truly meant to be!

Also, appropriately enough, the film will be the first to screen at Mental Filmness, at 4:00 on Saturday, October 12. Don’t miss it if you can!

Here is some biographical information about the co-directors: Josiah Allen, age 23. (Co- Director, Co-Producer, Editor)

Born in and currently living in South Australia. Josiah recently completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) at Flinders University. He aspires to be a Director, and also loves cinematography and editing. He was awarded funding in 2017 from the MRC to make a short comedy film, which he co-directed, edited, sound designed and is submitting to festivals now. He co-directed and edited a 16mm short film called ‘And Beyond’, which was shortlisted for Tropfest 2017, and nominated for Best Comedy in the 2017 SASA. He co-wrote and directed two top 10 finalists for the 2017 ‘Supercheap Auto Big Break’ advertising competition, placing second. He has shot and co-directed four music videos for local bands, one of which was a ‘One take’ style clip, that received over 21,000 views on YouTube . He co-directed and was cinematographer on a advert for the organisation ‘Second Chances’ which received over 81,000 views. At the beginning of High school, he won the under 18 division of the Flickerfest Film Festival. He has also shot and edited over 15 weddings, working on tight budgets and timeframes. Josiah aspires to be a director and cinematographer in the Australian Film Industry.

Indianna Bell, age 22. (Writer, Co-Producer, Co-Director)

Born in and currently living in South Australia. Indianna recently completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Screen) at Flinders University. Her interests are writing and directing. She was recently awarded the gold prize for best comedy screenplay in the 2017 Word Series of Screenwriting for her feature-length screenplay ‘Microwave Me’. She was awarded funding in 2017 from the MRC to make a short comedy film, which she wrote, co-directed, co-produced and edited, and is submitting to festivals now. She recently wrote, co-directed and edited a short 16mm Film called ‘And Beyond’ which was short listed for Tropfest 2017, and nominated for Best Comedy in the 2017 SASA. She wrote, directed, shot and edited a short film called ‘Buying Time’, which was a finalist at the SASA 2016, Melbourne Indie Festival, and The Joy House Film Festival. She also co-wrote and directed two top 10 finalists for the 2017 ‘Supercheap Auto Big Break’ advertising competition, placing second. She has Produced, edited, and co directed five music videos, including a ‘one take’ style clip, that gained over 21,000 views on YouTube. She wrote, starred in, and co directed an advert for the organisation ‘Second Chances’, which received over 81,000 views. She also loves acting, receiving a Merit for Drama as well as English Studies in high school. Indianna aspires to be a writer and director in the Australian Film and Television Industry.

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