Logline: A short documentary film about Erik Sprague – performer, artist, philosopher and self-confessed 'freak'.
Current Status: Completed
Length: 2:58 mins
Writer: Siobhán Costigan
Director: Siobhán Costigan
Producer: Siobhán Costigan
About Siobhán Costigan: Siobhán Costigan is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and graduate of the prestigious Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney.
Looking for (ie buyer, distributor, sales agent, producer, media interest) Distributor, broadcast interest, media interest
Funders or made in association with: AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School)
Where can I watch it? The next screening of ‘Freak’ will be at the WOW Film Festival at 2pm on Saturday 30 April at Cinema Paris in Sydney. A private screener of the film is also available for viewing. Please email email@example.com for the link and password.
1. Congratulations! Why did you decide to make this film?
The film actually started out as a brief exercise that I was given when I was studying post-grad Documentary at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) in Sydney. Each of the documentary students was sent to the Royal Easter Show and given a couple of hours to wander around and find a story, which we came back to film the following day.
As a child, my parents never allowed me to go into the 'Freak Show' tent at the Easter Show, but I was always intrigued as to whether there really was a bearded lady and a man with the body of a unicorn (!), so I decided immediately that I wanted to make a film about the freak show performers. And as soon as I met Erik, I knew that I wanted to focus my story on him.
2. Why is it called Freak?
The film is called ‘Freak’ because it’s a word that the film’s central character, Erik Sprague, uses to describe himself. He has the word boldly tattooed across his chest.
3. What type of feedback have you received so far?
The film has screened at a number of local and international festivals and has received very positive feedback so far. When I’ve been in the audience, it’s been fun to hear the very vocal reactions of some audience members to Erik’s appearance and performance!
4. Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The reactions of audience members has largely been the reaction I was hoping for when I set out to make the film!
5. What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on this platform?
It’s a short piece, but it seems to challenge people’s perceptions, so I’d love the film to reach a wider audience.
6. Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify the message of this film?
I’d love the film to find a distributor and am interested in broadcast interest so that the film can be seen by a larger audience.
7. What type of impact would you like this film to have?
I hope that the film will encourage filmgoers to question how much we pre-judge people based on first impressions and think about how those initial impressions often prove to be false.
8. What’s a key question that will help spark a discussion or debate about this film?
Has this film shifted your perspective at all and if so, in what way? Can you think of other times in your life that your preconceptions have been challenged or changed?
9. What other projects are you currently developing or directing?
I’m the co-Director of People Like Us, a creative group working in the areas of film, art and design to change the conversation about asylum seekers and refugees (https://www.facebook.com/peoplelikeusorg/). We’re currently working on a number of campaigns, both self-initiated and in partnership with other advocacy groups. Aside from my work with People Like Us, I’m developing few of my own projects including my first feature-length documentary.