A geeky Brisbane boy addicted to Tiny Teddies, Christopher Cosgrove has spent the last decade working as a freelance editor, cutting television commercials and corporate videos for clients such as Super Amart, Rio Tinto and Dreamworld. Frustrated by offline media and insufficient disk space, Christopher is eager to transition from the edit lab to the director’s chair. Last year he emigrated to Sydney in order to develop his directing chops at the Australian Film Television and Radio School. While completing a Graduate Certificate he wrote and directed Boldly Go, an autobiographical short film about the challenges of dating with a colostomy bag. If you’d like to know more about Christopher, offer him a mojito and a game of Scrabble.
2007 was a big year for me. I turned 21, I came out to my friends and family, and I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. Three years later the disease caused my large intestine to perforate. I was rushed to hospital and had an emergency ileectomy (the removal of part of my bowel). I awoke the next day in ICU with an unexpected addition to my body – a colostomy bag. I was still a virgin. How would I find a boyfriend looking like this?
My film, Boldly Go, tells the story of a young gay man who is hiding an embarrassing secret about his body. When a long-term crush begins to seduce him at a party, he is forced to confront his shame and expose the truth, or risk losing the boy of his dreams.
Boldly Go is a coming-of-age love story that examines the emotional transition from shame to acceptance. Shame is a burden frequently shared by those in both the queer and differently-abled communities. It is the toxic manifestation of a society that frequently tells us we are either unwanted or insufficient. Overcoming shame requires an individual to accept themselves for who they truly are, and to share that person honestly and openly with others.
I believe this is an important story to tell as there are very few screen stories that explore the challenges of living with an ostomy. There are approximately 44,000 people currently living with an ostomy in Australia and an estimated half a million in the United States of America.