September 10, 2020 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada
Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia, a short documentary directed by Josiane Blanc and produced by the NFB’s Canadian Francophonie Studio in Toronto, will be available for free at NFB.ca beginning September 21. The filmmaker, who was born in Montreal and is now based in Toronto, takes on a complex, little-explored but highly current social issue whose consequences are often underestimated: fatphobia. The documentary centres on the candid, powerful testimonies of four teenage girls. Protected by anonymity, they speak freely about their experience of rejection, negative judgments and bullying based on social perceptions of their appearance. Now, with the help of counsellors from Toronto’s SickKids Hospital, they’re learning to heal the deep wounds they suffered. The filmmaker’s insightful and informative narration, combined with poetic illustrations by Emanuelle Dufour, richly conveys the psychological pain of young people who face this form of discrimination, and helps us to better understand the terrible consequences of fatphobia.
Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia gives us access to rarely heard voices and viewpoints. The four young girls’ testimony is completed by Elizabeth Dettmer, the Toronto SickKids Hospital psychologist who guides them through the healing process, and who helped the filmmaker with the subject. Maja Eklund, who as an adult developed strategies for overcoming this type of discrimination, also appears, bringing a note of hope to the film by speaking to the camera without obscuring her identity.
Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia (Contes d’une grossophobie ordinaire) (23 min. 52 s.) was produced as part of the 10th Tremplin competition organized by the National Film Board in collaboration with Radio-Canada. This is Josiane Blanc’s first film as an independent director. The producer is Denis McCready (NFB).
About the director
Screenwriter and director Josiane Blanc, whose family immigrated from Haiti, is a firm believer in the power of cinema and other media to effect change. She is a world traveller who cares deeply about social issues and loves to meet new people. In 2016, she developed and produced Amazing Teenagers (Jeunes d’exception), a TFO series of short documentaries focusing on exceptionally articulate, committed teenagers. Josiane was selected for the Black Women Film! Canada mentorship program for emerging filmmakers in 2017, the DOC Institute’s emerging producers program in 2018, and the 2019 Diversity of Voices Initiative at the Banff World Media Festival; she was awarded three prizes at the 2018 Unis TV PanCanadian Regional Competition. Josiane currently has several new documentary and fiction film projects in development.
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Electronic Press Kit | Images, trailer, synopses: Tales of Ordinary Fatphobia
French version here | Version en français ici.