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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Get in the pool! with FAT GIRLS FLOAT

Fat knows no boundary—economic or professional status, race, age, ethnicity. We all know someone fat, or overweight. Yet, fat stigma, like obesity, is on the rise worldwide. How deep seated and how early we begin to stigmatize fat people in the USA is best illustrated in a research study revealing four year old children chose fat people as friends last among a varied group choice. In the media we hear from those losing weight, those who lost weight, or from those who “should” be losing weight. What about those who feel they are fine just the way they are? They never seem to have a voice, until now.

FAT GIRLS FLOAT is an independent documentary in which a 300lb. filmmaker Kira Nerusskaya (me!) takes the audience on a journey through international fat subculture, giving fat women from four counties an opportunity to have their say. Despite many glares, glances, and gloating from media, family members, medical communities and the public-at-large; fat women from four countries (England, France, Russia, and the United States) tell their tales of sorrow and success, wow and woe; discussing size discrimination, political activism (fat and size acceptance), and social networking communities. These fat women show how they need to rise above what the world thinks of them and point out their ability to overcome society’s condemnation through compassionate perseverance. In essence, fat girls float because they do not let their weight ‘weigh’ them down.

Most media attention interviews women centering on a weight loss angle, but not in this case. Working within the basic framework of Andrei Sinyavski’s A Voice from the Chorus, I wanted to provide a forum for fat women’s voices to be heard, recognized, embraced, and to sing. ‘Cause it ain’t over until we do!

I have applied for funding through NYSCA, IFP, UK’s CHANNEL 4’s The GOOD PITCH, and our Sheffield Doc Fest submission is pending. Knowing that unless you can show you have a built-in audience as well having a film resume with some serious previous experience, first time film makers have it rough in trying to get funding, especially in this economy. And the competition is fierce!

Yet as we all know, time and money are necessary for the completion of any project. I have been working on my own time and my own dime, with about a year of down time due to lack of equipment. Now that that’s been changed, I need some special features and help to complete what I set out to do in 2006—let the world hear what we are like, and who we are with our own voices. And there are a few more voices I would like to add to the chorus of floaters!

FAT GIRLS FLOAT would love to have your pledge, especially if you ever felt the brunt of being a witness or a victim of size discrimination or stigma. We all know someone fat or over weight; we might be or might have been fat or overweight ourselves and have been made to feel ashamed of our size. We, you, or someone you know might be fat now—(and proud!?) Help me change the negative into a positive to show that we all need to show acceptance and tolerance of each other no matter our size.

I hope you enjoy the trailer and its message, and I hope you join me in showing the world that FAT GIRLS FLOAT.

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