Alright boss, what’s this film about then?

Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story is the official documentary about maverick Manchester comedian Frank Sidebottom, and the life and art of his hidden creator Chris Sievey. 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, but only a privileged few knew the man inside. Being Frank 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.

The elusive man behind the mask, Chris Sievey hiding his face - Photo by Rick Sarko


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 Johnny Vegas, Jon Ronson, John Cooper Clarke, Ross Noble and Mark Radcliffe, finally reveal the unknown story of Chris Sievey - a musician, songwriter, artist, comedian, filmmaker, performance artist and wayward genius.


Frank Sidebottom and Little Frank – Photo by Dave Arnold


So who’s making this film?

The film has been produced, directed and edited by Filmmaker Steve Sullivan. Steve collaborated with Frank Sidebottom and Chris Sievey on the 2006 documentary Magical Timperley Tour, an open top bus tour of the beauty spots and civic amenities of Timperley.

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





Filmmaker Steve Sullivan

So when’s all this been happening?

Steve started making the film as a labour of love in 2012, researching hundreds of boxes of Chris’ own possessions that were rescued from his house; including diaries, notebooks, props, costumes and work-in-progress. This amazing archive has helped Steve understand Chris Sievey’s highly creative and often chaotic life and revealed many fascinating and hilarious surprises.
In May 2013, Steve ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, and Frank Sidebottom’s fantastic fans from around the world backed the film and helped it get off the ground. You can visit the original
Kickstarter project page here.

Some stills from the film

Johnny Vegas

John Cooper Clarke

Jon Ronson

Ross Noble

Martin Sievey

Dave Arnold


Since the Kickstarter Steve conducted interviews with over 50 of Chris’s closest friends, family members and colleagues. This material was then combined with the footage from Chris’s personal archives, and the film was edited down from over 400 hours of footage. The first edit of the film was over 11 hours long and took an entire weekend to watch! It has been boiled down through two years of further editing to be the richest film experience it can be.

Finally, the film is ready for a prestigious World Premiere at SXSW (South By Southwest) Film Festival in March 2018.


When will the film be released?

The film will be released everywhere as soon as possible. You know it will, it really will.

Please sign up for the mailing list on the home page, or follow the film on Facebook or Twitter for regular progress updates. Any announcement on release dates will be made via those channels as soon as it's possible to say.

Please do not email to ask when the film will be released or request an update, as sadly there isn’t time to respond due to all of Steve’s time being taken up with preparations for releasing the film.

Thank you.


Frank Sidebottom in Timperley – photo by Phil Fletcher

Piece of Cardboard Productions

in association with Ffilm Cymru Wales, 104 Films and Fat Controller Management presents

A film by Steve Sullivan Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story