My name is Jessie Kahnweiler and I make films about Judaism, rape, and homelessness. Did I mention I’m a comedian? I know, I have a funny way of showing it. I am on a mission to combat apathy by using comedy to make shit about stuff no one wants to talk about. I am on Kickstarter to raise enough funds so I can finish my latest dark comedic series The Skinny. When it comes to stories from the real dirty sweaty frontlines of being a woman: we are truly starving.
Why should you give me your money?
I always felt so sorry for those girls with eating disorders. I never realized I was one of them. After all I wasn’t going to be bulimic forever, as soon as my YouTube videos went viral or my boyfriend got sober I wouldn’t need to puke anymore. As a loud and proud feminist, I couldn’t keep throwing up but I couldn’t stop either. I certainly couldn’t tell anyone because I wasn’t 90 pounds, my teeth were super white, I mean when it came to having an eating disorder, I should’ve known better. Recovering from bulimia has really been my journey towards becoming a woman: taking my mask off, letting go, and simply being myself. Now if I could just figure out what the hell that means…
I was truly humbled by the success of my 2014 comedic short Meet My Rapist Who knew that opening the floodgates to my own personal trauma would bring in some of the most amazing experiences of my life? Like the girl who chased me down Sunset Blvd spilling her soy latte over both of us claiming that as a sexual abuse survivor my film had finally set her free. It wasn’t my movie anymore. It was all of ours. This creative catharsis inspired me to use my experience with bulimia to create “The Skinny” because like rape, in today’s society eating disorders are both everywhere and nowhere to be found.
Eating disorders aren't sexy.
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
It took a year of hearing “No” to realize it was time to say “Yes” to myself. I was able to privately raise enough funds for production and enlist an inspired group of actors (Including the epic Illeana Douglas!) and crew to make my skinny dreams reality. “The Skinny” is part of a movement of filmmaking that demands us to push boundaries, break the silence, and feed the hunger for truth. With production completed and just $10,000 more to raise for post-production we are truly at the finish line.
I refuse to wait for “the man” to give me permission to speak. What some may see as bruises I see as the places where we truly shine. Please consider donating to The Skinny campaign as the fate of the series completely depends on it. The revolution isn’t going to happen to you. It is you.
Who the hell are we?
Jessie Kahnweiler (Jessie. Writer. Director) can’t afford therapy so she makes films. Her work has been featured on CNN, Buzzfeed, Elle, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, LA Weekly and The Huffington Post. While at the University of Redlands, Jessie quickly began ditching class in order to make documentaries. For her thesis film, Little America, she hitchhiked across the country to explore the world of America’s truck drivers. After getting dumped, Jessie wrote and co-directed the comedic short Baby Love, co-starring alongside Anchorman’s David Koechner. Jessie was selected for the 6 Points Artist Fellowship which inspired her comedic web series entitled Dude, Where’s my Chutzpah? Her short Meet my Rapist, a dark comedy about running in to her rapist at the farmers market, debuted at the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival and inspired her live show The Rape Girl. Jessie makes films to make the world feel like home. She lives in Los Angeles with her plants. www.jessiekahnweiler.com
“Jessie Kahnweiler’s work is reminiscent of Louis C.K. The best comedy doesn’t just make us laugh. It forces us to ask questions about what our laughter means.”– Nico Lang. LA Times.
“This is using humor to grapple with the horrors of life. This is laughing on the gallows. This is "edginess." The toxic inanity that is most free speech warriors is tepid, spoiled pap compared to Kahnweiler. More of this, please.” - Lindy West. Jezebel.
Award winning actress Illeana Douglas (Mom. Producer) is a hit with critics and moviegoers alike. Films include She's Funny That Way (2015) directed by Peter Bogdanovitch, The Bronze (2015) Pearly Gates (2015) All Stars (2014) Sisters (2014), Gus Van Sant’s To Die For (1995), Goodfellas (1991) Cape Fear (1993) Alive (1993), Search and Destroy (1995) Grace of My Heart (1996)) Picture Perfect (1997), Message in a Bottle (1999) Happy, Texas (1999), Stir of Echoes (1999), The Next Best Thing (2000), and Ghost World (2001). She had a recurring role on Entourage, and Six Feet Under, which earned her an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Angela. Illeana's hit web series Easy To Assemble has been downloaded over 40 million times and has been called, "The most successful branded show of all time" by Ad-Week. She just completed a book called I Blame Dennis Hopper: Stories of a life inside and outside the movies. Published by Flatiron books it will be out in Dec 2015.
Photography Amanda Hankerson
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for this project is not meeting our funding goal . "The Skinny" is a passion project on every level and everyone in post production is taking HUGE cut backs in order to ensure "The Skinny" is the best completed version of itself. Our funding goal is the absolute minimal amount needed to secure the post workflow goes smoothly as music licensing, sound mix, and color correction can't be bought with a hug and a beer (though trust me I've tried!)
With the funds raised, "The Skinny" will be completed by spring 2015. We will use the pilot episode to get funding for future episodes and seasons to come! As I've experienced, a bulimia comedy has proven to be a hard sell but with a finished product, the pilot will be able to sell itself. As the indie G-d's Jay and Mark Duplass brothers preach "don't make meetings make movies" With over 10 years as a guerrilla filmmaker, I have a proven track record of executing my 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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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