Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Student Body movie coming to the screen

“A tribute to student journalism and the power of investigative reporting.”
-Common Sense Media
Acclaimed filmmakers Michael and Bailey Webber will be present for a special-event screening of their ground-breaking new documentary The Student Body. Winner of the 2016 Independent Spirit Award, The Student Body tackles the heated topic of childhood obesity and the efforts to solve this national epidemic. 

Hosted by The National Eating Disorders Association, The Student Body will screen on October 5th at the Regal E-Walk Theatre off Broadway where the award-winning father/daughter filmmaking team will participate in audience engagement while exploring issues of health, student activism, leadership, lawmaking, and other topics of importance to youth and adults around the country.

The Student Body follows the inspiring story of Bailey Webber, a brave high school student turned journalist who seeks justice for her peers.  In many states throughout the country, laws have been enacted requiring schools to send notification letters to students whose body mass index (BMI) do not fall within a narrowly “acceptable” range—essentially telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are fat.  The documentary illustrates how youth can use their own passion and voice to engage lawmakers in order to advocate change.  The Student Body will release in select theatres throughout the year.

Synopsis:  In an effort to address the obesity problem among American youth, lawmakers in dozens of states have passed controversial mandates forcing schools to perform BMI tests on students.  What soon followed sparked a heated national debate.  Coined the 'Fat Letters' by students, notification letters were sent to kids whose body mass did not fall within a narrowly acceptable range; essentially telling children, even as young as kindergarteners, that they are fat.  When a determined sixth grader in Ohio voices her protest against the letters, student journalist Bailey Webber is inspired to take up her fight.  Convinced that her fellow students are being unfairly profiled and bullied by the government, Bailey's investigation soon turns into a battle of wills between herself and the bureaucrats who passed the law.  The Student Body is a true underdog story of two brave girls who take a stand against government intrusion and hypocrisy while exploring the complex and controversial truths of the childhood obesity debate.
I'm not one to watch documentaries, but this one was most enlightening to say the least.  I live in one of the 20 states that has the BMI testing laws.  I work in a school as a paraeducator and never even known my state had these BMI laws.  I'm going to have to dig into this more in my school system here.  This movie has definitely opened my eyes. I was awed and appalled at what some states are doing sending out "fat" letters.  WoW!   I was doubly appalled at the way this Ohio Congressional office treated this young girl.  My daughter works in a DC office I hope and pray she isn't rude to those that call into our Congressional office as those from OH were to this young girl.  This was eye-opener for sure.  This movie was very well documented and put together.  There was a lot of work put into this movie to get our eyes opened up. 

About Bailey Webber Bailey Webber is a student investigative journalist, writer and co­director of The Student Body. Her story of courage and activism has been featured in numerous newspaper and online articles. She has been honored by the National Association of University Women for her advocacy work, is an ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association as well as Proud to Be Me in which she has written several articles, blogs, and has participated in panel discussions. Bailey is also an up-and-coming public speaker and has appeared as a guest on several television and radio shows. Bailey is the daughter of Michael Webber, a motion picture producer and renowned documentary filmmaker. As such, she has grown up around movie making and has storytelling in her blood. The Student Body is her directorial debut.

About Michael Webber:  Michael Webber is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and producer/co­director of The Student Body. Webber has produced numerous theatrical films for studios such as 20th Century Fox and Lionsgate. Eventually applying his storytelling skills to non­fiction filmmaking, Webber would go on to produced/directed his “passion project” ­ the hit documentary The Elephant in the Living Room. The film was praised by critics as one of the best films of the year, winning 5 Best Documentary awards and opening as the #1 independent film in the US.  Michael has been guest on countless radio and television talk shows around the country, including appearances on The Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, NBC Nightly News and Nightline. He was also the subject of an ABC 20/20 special by Emmy Award Winning journalist Jay Schradler

A code to view this movie online was provided in exchange for my honest review by....
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