UWTSD: Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story


Former UWTSD Senior Research Associate, Steve Sullivan, has had his debut feature documentary Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story selected for South by Southwest (SXSW).  It will receive its World Premiere between March 12 and 14 in Austin, Texas.

Steve left UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art in 2014 to direct and produce the documentary full-time, after the film received backing from over 3,000 crowdfunders. Further production finance has come from Ffilm Cymru Wales, 104 Films and Fat Controller Management Ltd.

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story explores the extraordinary secret life of artist Chris Sievey, best known as his alter ego Frank Sidebottom, the maverick British comedian in a fake head. Frank Sidebottom, remembered fondly as the man with the papier-mâché head, was the court jester of the Manchester music and comedy scene for over 25 years. He had his own TV show, played at Wembley Stadium and built an army of fans, but only a privileged few knew the man inside that huge head. Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story tells a twisted tale of split personalities - a suburban superhero with a fanatical desire to preserve the myth he created, and eventually having to battle against being consumed by his alter ego.

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story includes extensive archive from Chris’s personal collection of hundreds of boxes of notebooks, home movies, art and music. Insights from Chris’s family, friends, and colleagues, including Jonny Vegas, Jon Ronson, John Cooper Clarke, Ross Noble and Mark Radcliffe, finally reveal the hidden story of Chris Sievey - a musician, songwriter, artist, comedian, filmmaker, performance artist and wayward genius.

On the SXSW news director Steve Sullivan commented: "For the film to be given its World Premiere at SXSW in Austin, Texas is unbelievably exciting. To know that Chris Sievey and Frank Sidebottom’s work and legacy is about to be launched on such an important international stage is a tremendous feeling. I can’t wait to bring the film back to the UK and launch it in the biggest possible way later in the year.”

CIRIC Funding and Development Manager Chris Holtom commented, “Swansea College of Art’s Creative Industries Research and Innovation Centre (CIRIC) was there at the beginning of the project and provided further advice and support to help Steve on his journey. To get selected for SXSW is testament to Steve’s years of dedication and we look forward to seeing the finished film in the UK.”

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story will screen at SXSW in the in the festival’s 24 Beats Per Second strand that showcases the sounds, culture and influence of music and musicians, with an emphasis on documentary. Further information via: www.sxsw.com.

Note to Editor

About Steve Sullivan

Filmmaker Steve Sullivan worked with maverick comedian Frank Sidebottom (aka Chris Sievey). After Chris's death Steve became custodian of his possessions and crowdfunded a documentary unearthing the real life of this most secretive of artists. Steve's previous films have won awards internationally. He is best known for his short film ‘A Heap Of Trouble’, a musical about naked men, which won the grand jury prize at the Montreal Comedy Festival, a BAFTA Cymru for Best Short Film, and has screened at over 100 film festivals around the world. www.stevesullivan.co.uk


About Ffilm Cymru Wales

Ffilm Cymru Wales supports the development of a creative, innovative, and inclusive film culture. Through funding and professional advice, we support emerging and established filmmaking talent to reach new audiences, explore new ideas to maximise the value of film, and engage with the educational and economic benefits that film brings to the rich culture of Wales. www.ffilmcymruwales.com


About SXSW

Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. In 2018 SXSW runs from 9-18 March, in Austin, Texas. https://www.sxsw.com/



For further information on CIRIC, please visit: http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/research/art-and-design-research/creative-industries-research--innovation-centre/


Updates on the film, including news on screenings, via social media and the film’s website:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeingFrankDoc/

Twitter: ‪@BeingFrankDoc

Website: www.beingfrankmovie.com

Further Information

Rebecca Davies

Swyddog Gweithredol Cysylltiadau â’r Wasg a’r Cyfryngau

Executive Press and Media Relations Officer

Cyfathrebu Corfforaethol a Chysylltiadau Cyhoeddus

Corporate Communications and PR

Tel: 01792 483695
Mobile: 07384 467071
Email: Rebecca.Davies@uwtsd.ac.uk