Austin Film Festival Announces the 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2020 List

It’s with great pride and excitement that I share the news that South Australian screenwriter, Indianna Bell, has been named one of the 25 Screenwriters to Watch in 2020 by none other than the Austin Film Festival.

When it comes to film festivals, the Austin Film Festival is right up there with the best of the best, and for me, it’s long been a festival that I’ve used to earmark up and coming talents to keep an eye on. Ever since the festival began in 1994, it has championed the work of Screenwriters. This is the fifth annual iteration of the 25 Screenwriters to Watch list, and Indianna Bell’s inclusion on the list comes with Call Connect.’s Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the 2019 Austin Film Festival.

Right at the heart of what this website is about is highlighting artists, films, projects, or things that may not get the mainstream push that they deserve. In the (almost) two years that The Curb has been operational, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing filmmakers and artists from all around the world, with some of the interviews and reviews helping highlight their work and push them towards a new audience.

A fair chunk of what I do here wouldn’t be possible without the many film festivals around Australia, with Perth’s Revelation Film Festival being a major highlight of the year. In 2019, attached to a screening of the excellent film Chained for Life, was the South Australian made short film, Call Connect. This powerful short is about a call center operator thrown into the deep end on her first day on the job. Over the space of a few minutes, I found myself moved to my core. I couldn’t shake it, so much so that when I collated my Top Films of 2019 list, it featured in the top ten.

After that screening, I immediately got in touch with the production company, Stakeout Films, to organise an interview with filmmakers Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell, co-directors of Call Connect. Indianna wrote the script herself, with the powerfully empathetic and adroit narrative showing an excellent talent on the rise.

Which is why hearing the news that Indianna was recognised by one of the peak film festivals in the world was such a joy. Such great and prestigious recognition for homegrown talent is always worth highlighting and I extend the warmest and deepest congratulations to Indianna for her inclusion on the 25 Screenwriters to Watch list.

It’s festivals like the Austin Film Festival that remind people that film and cinema is a global community, with the fest throwing a huge level of support behind filmmakers and audiences with a whole bunch of resources. I personally devour every episode of the Austin Film Festival podcast/videos, On Story, which gives a deep insight into the creative process of writers and filmmakers.

In this time of isolation, the festival has launched some great initiatives, including Inspiration in Isolation, a full afternoon of advice and seminars from industry professionals. For the creative folks out there, there’s also a Virtual Pitch Competition, as well as a bunch of useful resources on the AFF at Home section of the site.

Once again, a massive congratulations to Indianna Bell. If you’re not already familiar with her, then certainly pencil her name down to keep an eye on, you’ll be hearing more from her in the future.

(Oh, and it’s worthwhile checking out Indianna’s kids book Quirky Quentin while you’re at it too.)

And check out the trailer for Call Connect. below:

Call Connect- Trailer 2019 from STAKEOUT FILMS on Vimeo.