Looking Ahead for The Curb in 2024

As the 2024 season commences, I want to take the time to reflect on the purpose of The Curb and what I hope to achieve by spotlighting the voices I do with the podcast. Ultimately, my goal has always been, and will always be, to celebrate Australian voices, while also tangentially giving space to international voices whose work deserves recognition. In that act of celebration, I’ve recorded over two hundred interviews in the space of two years, with many being published as a podcast, transcribed, or in book form.

In 2022 I released my first book, The Australian Film Yearbook which sold well for an independently published book about Australian films. Amidst working as a voter for the Golden Globes, I spent most of 2023 recording interviews for the follow up book, the title of which I can reveal for the first time here as The Lonely Spirits and the King. In this book, I explore the notion of what the Australian identity means on screen for filmmakers, and by doing so, I ultimately try to reconcile with the idea of what the modern ‘Australian identity’ means in films. Interviews came from all manner of voices across this great continent from the beaches of Western Australia to the desert of the APY lands to the forests of Tasmania. The Lonely Spirits and the King features interviews with filmmakes like Platon Theodoris, Renee Webster, Catherine Martin, Leslie Vanderwalt, Alex Proyas, Craig Boreham, and many, many more, alongside a beautiful foreword by Kate Separovich. A crowdfunding campaign will be launched soon, with a physical release launch aimed for July. We’ve crafted something that I’m genuinely proud of and am beyond excited to bring this book into the world. I’m grateful and stunned by the honesty and the time that filmmakers have given me to talk about their work.

I don’t take what I get to do lightly. It is, quite simply, a major privilege. I wouldn’t be able to do this without the Australian film community support. In the downtime between Christmas and the New Year starting, I took the time to step back and look at what I have built over the years with The Curb and how we can help support artists even further this year. At the end of 2023, I was physically and mentally exhausted, and it didn’t take much to realise that if I kept doing the amount of interviews that I did during 2023 that I was going to burn out. Not much is going to change on that front in 2024, I aim to give a similiar level of coverage that we gave in 2023, I just need to balance the state of my physical and mental health a little better.

One thing I’ve always tried to do with The Curb is extend a level of honesty and openness about myself with the readers and listeners. I’ve been open about my own health and my views on the world, and I intend to continue that openness and honest. However, one aspect which I’ve rarely touched on is the cost of running an independent website in a modern age. We are a small publication, one that relies on the support of Patreon users, Google ads, and the income received from the sales of the book. What we receive from these areas is barely enough to pay for the different applications used to keep The Curb alive, but in 2024 I hope to change that approach in two ways. From the 1st of February there will no longer be Google ads on The Curb. At the moment, Google ads block the text or images, making it difficult to comfortably use the site. As a user experience, that’s beyond frustrating and not what I want readers of The Curb to see when they load up the site. Which leads me to the second aspect which is seeking backing via a community support site like Patreon. We have an active Patreon account, which we will be using even more as 2024 progresses to share our reviews, interviews, and for supporters, an exclusive newsletter which will be sent to readers monthly.

To help support The Curb on Patreon, please visit Patreon.com/TheCurbAu.

I’ll run through the tiers on our Patreon so you have an idea of what we will be providing you, other than the warmth of knowing that you’ve supported an independent Australian film website.

The Castle tier is one dollar a month, where you’ll receive weekly notifications about reviews and interviews that have been published on the site. You’ll also receive early access to the new monthly review series on the AACTA Award winning films. The next tier is the Red Dog tier where for three dollars a month, you’ll receive the same benefits as The Castle tier, while also receiving a postcard with film recommendations every three months. You’ll also get a chance to nominate a film that you would like covered on the site. For ten dollars a month you can join the Sweet Country tier, where if you remain an active member at this tier for a year you will receive a care package, alongside receiving an eBook copy of The Australian Film Yearbook. Then we head into the pricier tiers, the Lonely Spirits tier at $40 a month, where alongside the perks of each other tier, you will receive a physical copy of the Australian Film Yearbook, and then the peak tier, the Idiot Box tier, which is $100 a month and gives supporters the chance to guest on a podcast with myself and discuss literally anything they want. This is limited to one member a month.

With your support, you can help keep The Curb completely independent and from 1 February 2024, ad free.

Now, to give you a taste of what’s to come on The Curb podcast for 2024, we will have coverage of the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and the Slamdance Film Festival, the Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival, as well as both the Antenna Documentary Film Festival, and the Australian International Documentary Conference. The first two interviews for 2024 will be dropping this week, with the first featuring the team behind the Flickerfest short film Bad Vibrations, writer/director Nicole Delprado and actor Annabel Maclean. The next interview will be with Academy Award nominee and all round screen legend Patricia Clarkson who joins me to discuss her latest film Monica, which is screening at the Queer Screen Film Festival.

For now, I want to thank everyone who has supported The Curb throughout the years. We’ve been going strong for five and a half years now, and we feel like we’ve barely even started. We can’t wait to share with you all the work that we’ve got planned in 2024.

Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian cinema, Australian politics, Australian culture, and Australia in general. Found regularly talking online about Sweet Country, and reminding people to watch Young Adult.

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