A little over a year ago, I wrote a piece on Jessie Kahnweiler. Her video series called Meet My Rapist spoke to me on many levels. It was a blunt response to her own rape that occurred as a college student while in Vietnam by playing herself being followed by her rapist. She took an extremely bad moment in her life and used it to teach people through storytelling and it was really powerful.
Since then, Kahnweiler has gone on to do more great things that wake people up, including me, every single time. Using the power of comedy and video, she produces programming that teaches people how to make real change. The Skinny, her current project produced by Wifey TV., is another example. The project follows a feminist comedian living in LA who struggles with bulimia. Addressing bulimia head-on, she hopes that her project will be part of a larger conversation about disordered eating.
Kahnweiler is currently raising funds on Kickstarter to complete post-production the pilot. About The Skinny and why she is looking to raise funds to complete the project, she says:
Every movie I see depicting eating disorders makes me want to barf. Aside from the occasional Lifetime movie there are no television shows out there authentically exploring eating disorders in a way that is both raw and vulnerable. Perhaps a bit naïve, I excitedly pursed funding figuring that since everyone I knew had some kind of issue with food/body (or had a loved one that did) I would have no problem finding a market audience. I mean I was the girl who made rape funny, naturally bulimia was the next step! Yet as I began the process of pitching I quickly realized even the mention of the words eating disorders freaked people out. It was as if I was serving my potential investors deep fried Ebola sandwiches. Ashamed, I watched as one by one each executive’s eyes quickly glazed over as they looked for something, anything to look at besides me. At the end of my pitch, (insert white dude name) would sweetly reveal,“there’s nothing funny, or more importantly, sexy about eating disorders.” Were they right? Was “The Skinny” both too much and not enough? I left those meetings hungrier than ever.
….I refuse to wait for “the man” to give me permission to speak.
The Skinny features one of my favorite actresses, Illeana Douglas, as her mother. About this effort, she said: What’s making movies in NYC with Scosese when I could be making a web series in Atwater village with Kahnweiler?
With the funds raised, The Skinny will be completed by spring 2015. Kahnweiler has over 10 years as a guerrilla filmmaker and a proven track record of executing a totally cool “idea” into actual living breathing movies. Your funding doesn’t go into an idea but rather a tangible product that will be able to speak for itself. I should know, I supported this on Kickstarter.
Back The Skinny here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1179494099/the-skinny
And report back to me in the comments to let me know you’ve joined the effort to stop shaming women about eating disorders!