'Tales From Fat City' is the Body-Posi Film You've Been Waiting For
Over the past few weeks, there has been some dynamic representations of plus size women. The TV adaptation of Sarai Walker's "Dietland" on AMC received praise from critics and fans alike for its premise and lead actor, Week after week, the show gained a steady and devoted following, and AMC recently announced the show will have another season. (Full disclosure: Strutter has been live-tweeting along to the show–unsponsored–since the premiere.). Then there's Netflix's "Insatiable." Earlier this month, the subscription service aired the show's trailer, and received immediate backlash. Viewers took issue with not only the story line (A young plus size who woman loses weight via jaw-wiring and gets revenge on her enemies as her thinner self) but hiring a thin actor who donned a fat suit for the role. The backlash sparked not only a hashtag, but a petition signed by 200,000 people to stop Netflix from streaming it next month. (Again, full disclosure: I signed it). The producer of the show has asked its critics to give it a chance since there is a stance against fat shaming in the series. With another year until a new "Dietland" and the other option is "Insatiable," is there another body positive project in the works? Actually, there is. Tales From Fat City is an independent film written by Karla Guy and Kathy Byron. The two comedic actors call it "a tale of fat shaming, bullying & social consciousness squeezed into one fat funny film," and have launched an Indiegogo campaign to help finance the film. Below, Guy and Byron talked to Strutter about TFFC. What is Tales From Fat City about KG: The premise is about an overweight girl who wants to be a supermodel/singer since childhood, so she takes a job at a singing telegram and flower shop in hopes of being discovered. She is discovered by an abusive boss, a crew of childhood bullies and her unsupportive family. Karla is also trying to keep her ”relationship” with her slightly shady boyfriend together. In the Indiegogo link is a trailer for the film. It was a very blunt account what a plus size woman can endure from strangers, within seconds. Why was that scene chosen to show what TFFC is about? KB: It is a blunt account, and a truthful one. The fat shaming Karla has experienced–and not just from strangers–is a sad truth. Karla and I have witnessed many times out in public, at work, riding her bike and with family the merciless fat shaming assaults on her. So the trailer is a compilation of those to get people's attention and hopefully want to see our film get made. How is the funding going so far? KG: We are in the process of raising money right now. We have less than 60 days to meet our goal. When the film gets funding, when do you plan on shooting? KG: There are so many awesome perks–Who wants to be a producer, spend the day on set, or get a role at the end of the film. We plan on shooting around the Los Angeles area although if for some reason we get funding from someone in Georgia we would definitely consider shooting there How did you find the actors to work on the project? KG: We have people in mind for certain roles that we've mentioned to them that we want them for the part but we need to raise money to offer them the role. Most likely this will be an independent film. We've had very positive feedback. What is the upside of collaborating on this project? What's the downside? KG: Well the upside of collaborating is that we are creating a piece of work together that is us, not us trying to audition for a role we hoped our audition went good and we booked it. The downside is this is a lot of work. It's been challenging trying to get funding since we aren't backed by a major Hollywood studio. We're just two female comedians who decided it was important to write this story. What is the feedback so far on TFFC? KG: We did a two table reads for rewrites and then a final read-through of our script last April. We used a lot of comics and comedic actors. It was received extremely well. The social conscience material was appreciated. They liked the comedic scenarios and loved the dialogue. There were a lot of laughs. To donate to Tales From Fat City, click here.