5 Things You Should Know About Abel Ferrara and Willem Dafoe's Siberia

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Possibly his most intriguing project to date (and certainly his most nebulous), Abel Ferrara’s new film Siberia will explore a new approach to funding for the seasoned director. The Bad Lieutenant helmer has turned to Kickstarter to solicit support for his new project with actor and longtime collaborator Willem Dafoe, which aims to probe the subconscious—namely the world of dreams—and attempt to capture that intangible territory in a filmic experience.

Siberia’s provenance is highly organic—Ferrara describes the script development as “starting off on page one and [letting] your mind take you wherever you’re gonna’ go.” But there is also a source of inspiration in Carl Jung’s The Red Book, a manuscript by the Swiss psychologist that was only published and made publicly accessible in 2009. As Ferrara describes it, The Red Book chronicles the experiences when “Jung would take time to go into his private room at night, alone, and delve into the center of his subconscious—into his dreams, into his mind, and almost write freehand.”


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The New York-raised, Rome-based filmmaker announced his plans for Siberia at a Cannes press conference earlier this month and recently chatted about building a community around the film through Kickstarter and taking on the daunting task of mining and making sense of the subconscious. Here are 5 things you should know about Abel Ferrara’s Siberia, which you can help reach its Kickstarter goal here.

On working with Willem Dafoe on their fifth film:

“Willem is very much a part of these ideas in the very beginning. It’s the fifth film with Willem. I want the film to be about Willem, without the pretense of ‘Oh, he’s playing this character in this situation.”

On why he chose to use Kickstarter to fund the film:

“The idea is that you choose the kind of film you want to see. The people out there who want to see our movies, I’m appealing directly to them.”

Ferrara on what the film is ostensibly about:

"We're out in the great white north and Willem is playing some kind of pioneer on the outpost--it would seem to be about that, but..."

Ferrara on what the film is really about:

“I want to see if we can really film dreams—our fears, our regrets, our nostalgia.”

On why you should support Siberia:

“The plea is, everybody be part of the community and be part of this alternative way of making films. Don’t let five companies decide what everyone in the world is going to see.”


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