At the 2019 Revelation Film Festival, the short film Call Connect. played before the great film Chained for Life. It was a perfect pairing of films. While both will linger in my memory for a long while, it’s Call Connect. that will stick with me the longest. Not only is this one of the best short films I’ve seen in a long while, it’s also one of the best films of 2019.
A pitch perfect performance from Caithlin O’Loughlin, with an equally great voice only performance from Brendan Rock, Call Connect. is a short film about a girl thrown into a difficult situation. After volunteering at a call centre, and being given a ‘how to folder’ on what how to answer the calls coming through, the phone in front of her rings. After waiting for someone else to answer the call, it becomes clear that she has no choice but to answer the call in the best way that she can.
And it’s here that Call Connect. soars – Caithlin’s performance is powerful, raw, and very true to life. As each word is uttered, she becomes even more aware of the importance of everything she is saying, as Brendan Rock’s caller ekes out small drops of information as to why he is calling a helpline.
This is powerful stuff, and it’s the direction of Josiah Allen and Indianna Bell that makes Call Connect. so perfect. Shot in one long 16 minute take, with the camera slowly creeping in on Caithlin’s face, there is no spare moment to catch your breath. You can’t help but feel the tension amplifying as each second ticks by, and it’s not too long before you realise that this is something that happens over 2200 times a day for helplines like Lifeline.
I cannot applaud this film enough, and when I got out of the screening I rushed to my computer to get in touch with Josiah and Indianna to organise an interview. I was honoured to be able to chat to them about their short film, and also their production company, Stakeout Films. Please check out their site and keep an eye on their work – these people are going places.