Four of a Kind: Missy Bell on the local film scene

Missy Bell. Photo by Michael C. Bell

Editor’s note: This is part of “Four of a Kind,” a recurring Arts & Culture feature. Each month, four new artists share their takes on the local art scene. In addition to individual online posts, you can find all four features as a single spread in this week’s print edition.

Missy Bell is an Asheville-based filmmaker.

Xpress: Is there an upcoming film event happening in Asheville that you’re looking forward to seeing?

There is a feature film shooting in the area in the spring called Decomposer that is being made by some incredibly talented Asheville folks and folks who are formerly from Asheville. It will bring in a lot of people to town in a crew capacity and good recognition to the area to continue to build our reputation as a film town. There are so many talented film people here. It’s really an untapped goldmine for filmmaking in a lot of ways when it comes to people who are legitimately excellent at what they do.

Outside of film, what other upcoming local arts happening intrigues you?

LEAF Global Arts is hosting a Holiday Pop-up Bazaar, Friday, Dec. 1, 2-8 p.m., at its downtown location. There will be local musicians, craft making, artsy items for sale and more. LEAF is a fantastic organization that services our town, and the event is a part of First Friday on The Block, which is a monthly celebration uplifting local businesses and showcasing the art and culture of The Block — one of the largest Black Wall Street districts before urban renewal. I’m excited to support the community, local artists and vendors, and to hear local music and support LEAF.

What current project are you working on that you’re especially excited about?

My current project is called Outbound. It’s a short film about the need for connection, written by Laura Mae Cuellar, produced by Michael C. Bell and starring Elias Hamilton. The film will start its festival journey in January, and I am superexcited about it as it is a beautiful film, and I feel it will have a major impact on folks who are still struggling with isolation in the wake of COVID, especially teenagers who missed out on certain social developmental milestones during the pandemic.

So many people just want to be seen and heard and loved for who they are but are stuck behind a computer screen or isolating themselves because they’ve been hurt in the past or because of anxiety brought on by all of our collective isolation due to COVID. This film is about finding the courage to reach out and move forward and take that first step toward community, which is something we all crave deep down. I truly feel this film will make an impact, and I’ll be setting up screenings in the Asheville area in addition to launching the film into the wider world.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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