Award winning dance theatre production, Nothing to Lose
centred a cast of undeniably fat and queer performers- something that had never been seen on mainstream dance stages before, anywhere in the world. Director Kate Champion, of renowned Australian dance company, Force Majeure in collaboration with Artistic Associate Kelli Jean Drinkwater - created one of the most controversial productions of Sydney Festival which had rave reviews and sell out seasons. It also had huge media impact internationally.
Nothing to Lose charts the creation of this hugely successful live show, following the cast and creative directors through a deeply personal and political journey- an experience both challenging and cathartic. We meet our key cast in the first round of open auditions and follow them through creative development and rehearsals to the nerve wracking and exhilarating opening night. The performers forge deep bonds, creating one big fat family as they navigate this once in a lifetime transformative experience , both vulnerable and empowered – sharing their bodies and their lives.
Nothing to Lose is a visceral portrait of the movement potential of the fat dancing body. It challenges our own ideas of what fat bodies are capable of physically and exposes audiences to the complexities of the fat experience. From the way large people are treated and the emotional resilience needed to combat stigma, to the varied relationships the cast have to their fatness, many of who are at different stages of acceptance and engagement with body politics.
Nothing To Lose was an unprecedented hit – with sell out seasons, rave reviews and award wins. It queered the body in ways most audiences have never seen. This feature documentary will be the legacy of this groundbreaking production.
How does the project meet the aims of a philanthropic foundation?
This film is about artistic process, and would appeal to philanthropists who are passionate about the arts in Australia. It charts the making of an original dance work, Nothing to Lose
by celebrated Director and Choreographer, Kate Champion and marked the final work Kate would produce with Force Majeure
, the company she had helmed for 8 years. It delves deep into the creative process, and into the collaborative way of working, a hallmark of the way Kate has worked throughout her career.
It also marks a unique moment in time, as once this show wrapped, Force Majeure
were defunded under George Brandis’ cuts to the Australia Council- a significant moment in history for the arts sector in Australia.
This film is also a social justice film- it opens a dialogue about living in contemporary society as a person of larger size. The cast of this film reveal their deeply personal stories of growing up fat- the judgement, bullying, body shaming and discrimination they faced – and how they live now as adults in this space where society places so much value on thin bodies. They show the world through the live work and this film that bigger bodies are sexual, strong, flexible and fit, not unhealthy and untouchable.
This film is also about LGBTIQ communities. Most of the cast and crew of this film identify as LGBTIQ – and the transformative and connective power of showing stories about and by our communities on screen cannot be underestimated. These community, social and creativity focused issues are all reasons we believe this film would appeal to philanthropists, as this film completed will become a very powerful tool for change.
What outcomes do you hope to achieve by making this film and how will you measure its impact?
Aims & Objectives
Nothing to Lose
is about fatphobia, or body shaming, which is rampant in society. The film will challenge audiences and ask them to question their bias and held beliefs about bigger bodies. It will also empower audiences – empower those who may be of bigger, or less abled bodies as it is a story of equity of access, positive transformation and connectivity.
The plus sized movement has gained much traction and media attention around the globe in recent times. The director Kelli Jean Drinkwater’s recent TEDXSydney talk ‘Enough with the fear of fat’ has now amassed close to 1.3 million views on TEDX.com. People are ready to hear about this movement at a deeper level and this film reveals the deeply personal experiences of the cast. It explores ideas of Queering the body and what happens when you put fat bodies and the stories of the people who inhabit them, centre stage.
Nothing to Lose is also a documentary about the challenges and successes of making an ambitious work. Audiences that attended, or heard about, the live work will get to see more than just behind the scenes. It closely follows the creative development process and would be a fascinating and impactful film for the emerging arts sector in Australia and globally.
This film is also a highly entertaining documentary – the characters antics and attitudes are hilarious and sometimes truly awesome. With all of this underpinning this documentary, this film as the potential to reach and engage a broad and diverse audience, and with that as our aim- have maximum positive impact on people’s lives.
What is your education and outreach strategy?
Our aim is to launch the film at festivals around the world and here in Australia. We will meet with Australian broadcasters to secure a free to air broadcaster and make it available for on demand screening. Beyond that, we would make the film available online, to maximise reach and social impact.
Kelli Jean as a director and artist has amassed a local and international audience for her work and the stories she is committed to telling. She is an out and proud Queer identified filmmaker, who has worked closely with the LGBTIQ communities to make her films both in front and behind the camera. Screenings at key LGBTIQ festivals will be an extremely important platform for this film. We will utilise the reach of Kelli Jean’s TEDX talk to assist with promoting the project and the fundraising component of this project.
A strategy is being developed to reach audience through not just Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - but also utlising Snapchat and Soundcloud, to engage a younger demographic. Working with key cast members, we will do Facebook live activations and small how to dance videos for You Tube - as well as get the cast to create video playlists on You Tube Red. We would also like to take this film to schools, or into workshop environments - where working with Kelli Jean and the cast - young people can do movement based activities and watch the film.
Nothing to Lose has the capacity to engage and enrich the lives of a broad international and local audience, and our predominately online engagement strategy will assist us in reaching them.