Abel Ferrara and Willem Dafoe Need Your Help to Make Their Next Movie

By  · Published on May 18th, 2015

Abel Ferrara

It’s been a while since the name Abel Ferrara last appeared on this site, and it’s not because we don’t like the guy. In years past, we’ve shared our love for Body Snatchers and Harvey Keitel’s performance in Bad Lieutenant and recommended the re-released Ms. 45. The problem is, while he’s still a fairly prolific filmmaker and his work continues to play at major festivals, Ferrara’s movies no longer get immediate distribution in the US, and when they do it’s with a slight or quiet or otherwise limited release that unfortunately falls outside the boundaries of our usual coverage. We already missed one this year, Welcome to New York.

It would seem that now Ferrara can’t even get funding for his movies, as he’s the latest well-known director to hit up fans and other supporters through a crowdfunding campaign. But it also sounds like his new Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $500k, has been devised out of interest in the new platform rather than desperation. “Kickstarter is about being part of a community – the filmmaker and audience coming together to share the process of bringing an idea to filmic life,” he says on the site. “It’s simple, direct, empowering and revolutionary. The perfect vehicle for Siberia.”

Siberia will be his fifth collaboration with actor Willem Dafoe (including Pasolini, which still has no US distributor) – although it should count as double since Dafoe will be playing two parts. Inspired by Carl Jung’s “The Red Book” and co-scripted by Chris Zois (Welcome to New York), the movie is set in a “strange” cafe in the northern wilderness run by Dafoe’s two characters, one of whom “begins to cross the line between what is real and what is not … thrust on a journey across his psyche into distant lands, of epic natural beauty and the darkness of his own past and future. Soul searching by dog sled.”

Watch Ferrara present the project in his Kickstarter video:

Estimated date of delivery on the finished film appears to be June 2016.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.