10th edition CIFF – 10-14 April 2024

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2019 Feature Film)

Jessica Leski | Australia | 2018 | doc | color | DCP | 96′ | English | n.s.

Fangirls look out! Four fans of The Beatles, Backstreet Boys and One Direction talk candidly about how fandom changed their lives. Fascinating music documentary about hysterical teenagers growing up to be self-assured women. Director Jessica Lenski knows all about it: she became a massive fan of One Direction at the age of 31.

To her own amazement, at the age of 31 director Jessica Leski became a big fan of a boy band called One Direction. She decided to make a documentary about the phenomenon of boy bands: where did this craze come from, and how does it affect people? Leski followed fans from different generations, such as Elif (16), who’s mad about One Direction, and twenty-something Sadia, who mailed a newsletter about Backstreet Boys to 12,000 subscribers at the age of 12. And Dara from Australia, who was crazy about Take That – even going into therapy when it got out of hand. Finally Susan, aged 64, was and still is a huge Beatles fan. 

Interviews, animations and home videos show what it’s like to be a super fan. These women collect clippings and posters and fantasize about their favorite band members. Leski’s film is much more than an amusing record of hysterical, screaming teenagers; it’s a poignant coming-of-age story about empowerment and not caring what anyone else thinks. 

Place: The Cinemas 4

Date: 12 April 2019

Time: 14:00

Duration: 1:15

Place: The Cinemas 3

Date: 13 April 2019

Time: 21:45

Duration: 1:15

Year in



Jessica Leski


Jason Joseffer
Eric Laplante
Simon Koladin
Cesar Salmeron




Johanna Scott






Jed Palmer


Jessica Leski
Rita Walsh

Production Company

Over Here Productions


Seville International


Jessica Leski

Sound Design

Simon Rosenberg

Year of Production


Australische filmmaker Jessica LESKI voltooide haar Bachelor in film en televisie aan het Victorian College of the Arts. Haar korte films zijn op diverse internationale filmfestivals vertoond en hebben in Australië belangrijke prijzen gewonnen. Haar eerste lange documentaire The Ball (2010) werd in 2012 genomineerd voor de AACTA-prijs voor Best Documentary Under One Hour. Ze geeft ook lezingen en les in scenarioschrijven aan de School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.



In thhe Shadows (2005, short), Songs for Running Away (2007, short), The Ball (2010, doc), I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story (2018, doc)