• Uncle Colin Isaacs with Director Catriona McKenzie, Uncle Vic Simms, Uncle Richard Green and Writer John Bell (Pemulwuy Story Workshop)Source: Pemulwuy Story Workshop
"I wanted to tell this story for the Stolen Generations."
Saman Shad

15 Feb 2021 - 2:16 PM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2021 - 2:16 PM

An award-winning short film, written and directed by Wiradjuri and Bundjalung man Jon Bell, has been selected as one of three Australian films to be shown at the prestigious South By Southwest (SXSW) Festival this year.

'The Moogai' will make its international premiere at SXSW in the Midnight Shorts section and has been proudly supported by NITV, having been acquired to be shown on the TV channel.

Bell was previously a writer on NITV's first ever commission of a scripted live-action series, 'Grace Beside Me'. He also created and wrote the 2013 drama series 'The Gods of Wheat Street'.

His short film 'The Moogai' explores postnatal depression, transgenerational trauma and Australia’s stolen generation. 

In an interview with Screen NSW, Bell said he "wanted to tell this story for the Stolen Generations because ever since the Apology, the Country seems to be like ‘Well, Kevin Rudd apologised for all that, so we can move on, can’t we?’ Regardless of whether the victims may or may not have felt any closure, their stories still must be told."

His film previously won the Film Victoria Erwin Rado Award for Best Australian Short Film. The jury statement supporting the award said: "Director Jon Bell depicts the fear and the devastating impact on Indigenous families right across this nation." 

Bell has received development funding from Screen Australia to make 'The Moogai' into a feature length film. 

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