As a 15 year old, George Cruickshank established his own country in his parent’s backyard as a way to peacefully object to the politics surrounding the Cold War. He called this country the Empire of Atlantium. Now thirty five years later, George - otherwise known as Emperor George II, is the leader of a country which has grown to encompass its own territory, government, currency, post office, flag, national anthem and citizenship of over 3500 citizens.
In an engaging and humorous way, this film tells the story of George, his Empire, and his motivations behind it all.
Produced by: Rita Gagliardi
Cast: George Cruickshank
The 3-week run for Atlantium: The Smallest Country in Australia ended on Jan 29th, 2017. Thank you to all the fans that supported it!
5 questions with Atlantium: The Smallest Country in Australia director, Craig Rasmus at the half-way mark.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017
1Hey Craig! Thanks for being a part of our festival. First, how did you hear about Atlantium and what made you want to make a documentary about it? I saw an interview with Emperor George on ABC News last Christmas. I found it surreal that a self-declared country existed in Australia and that I not only didn't know about it, but that the Australian Government appeared to be allowing it. I was also impressed by the level of effort that he put into the visual elements that represented the country from the currency and postage stamps, to the flags and government emblems. I just found it all fascinating and wanted to make a short film about him that would live online.
2George II isn't taken very seriously in the media but he says he has a very serious message to get out there. Atlantium supports assistant suicide, marriage equality, abortion rights and unrestricted, international freedom of movement. In countries where these types of things aren't allowed, or are becoming more restricted, do you think micro-nations like these could play a more significant role in the future? I ultimately see Atlantium as an ongoing performance-art project that has been running over 35 years. Emperor George knows that his goal of a world without borders is something he is unlikely to ever see in his lifetime, and that his influence to shape international policy is obviously minimal, but as with all good art, it creates discussion about the concepts behind it. And that is what I think George is all about, spreading serious ideas out there on a platform that he believes will help it be heard.
3In the documentary it says you can become a citizen of Atlantium online. Are you currently a citizen and do you know how people can become one? Funnily enough no. You are able to apply for citizenship through his website. Its is free to become a citizen - it is a symbolic decree that you believe in the progressive policies that Atlantium stands for.
4George Cruickshank has given himself the title "His Imperial Majesty. Geoge II". If you could create your own title, what would you pick? Ha! Wasn't expecting that question.
His Excellency Craig Rasmus - Director of Propaganda for Atlantium
5What's next? I direct commercials for work so that is keeping me busy at the moment. I think my next passion project will be a narrative short.
About the Interviewer: Ben Hicks
Ben Hicks is a writer/director and co-founder of Fandependent Films. Ben is currently working on making Fandependent Films awesome and is finishing up his first feature film entitled Kids Go Free to Fun Fun Time which was selected for the 2017 IFP Narrative Lab.
The film with the most fans wins $1,000
For 2017 we are moving on from screening feature films and will be showcasing shorts.
For our Winter 2017 Festival, we are giving away $2,000 in prizes to the top three films.
The film with the most fans.
The film with the most views.
Our favorite film.
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