Kiti­mat kids take three years to pro­duce eat­ing dis­or­ders doc­u­men­tary

Cape Breton Post - - TV LISTINGS -

VIC­TO­RIA (CP) — When a group of pre-teen girls gath­ered for their weekly girl talk at school three years ago, they never dreamed that they would one day be re­leas­ing a fea­ture-length doc­u­men­tary film.

Those Thurs­day noon-hour group gath­er­ings at Nechako Ele­men­tary School in Kiti­mat, in north­ern B.C., turned into a full­time film-mak­ing project last­ing three years and re­sult­ing in to­day’s release of their doc­u­men­tary about young girls and eat­ing dis­or­ders, “36-24-36.”

It’s been a crazy and in­spir­ing ad­ven­ture, said An­drea San­der­sCrouch, who was 11 years old and in Grade 6 in Fe­bru­ary 2007 when she signed on to start the film project with her friends, Akira KlemSmith and Justine Shaw.

“It re­ally blos­somed into so much more,” said San­ders-Crouch, who is ex­cited to the point of gid­di­ness about the doc­u­men­tary’s screen­ing at Mount El­iz­a­beth Secondary School in Kiti­mat.

“No one would have thought go­ing back to Grade 6 that this film is go­ing to turn into an hour-long fea­ture film,” she said. “I wouldn’t have be­lieved it. It’s crazy.”

San­ders-Crouch is 14 now and in Grade 9. Klem-Smith is 15 and in Grade 10, and Shaw is 14, in Grade 9. Their film will be re­leased to­day, and avail­able for free on the In­ter­net.

The girls made the doc­u­men­tary un­der the guid­ance of youth so­cial worker Rod­er­ick Tay­lor and his wife, Suki Ath­wal, who live in nearby Ter­race, B.C.

Ath­wal was pro­vid­ing sup­port­work for girls at Kiti­mat when they hatched the idea to make a doc­u­men­tary, said Tay­lor, 38, who has pro­duced other so­cial doc­u­men­taries as Mask Re­moval Pro­duc­tions.

In 2004, Tay­lor helped a group of young peo­ple in Vic­to­ria strug­gling with em­ploy­ment is­sues and no pre­vi­ous film ex­pe­ri­ence make a well re­ceived doc­u­men­tary — Hide and Go Home­less — about poverty and home­less­ness.

Tay­lor said the Kiti­mat girls came up with the idea about do­ing a project about eat­ing dis­or­ders.

“ That project turned into a three-year project,” he said.

The film gives a first-hand per­spec­tive of bat­tles with anorexia young girls face , said Tay­lor.

It also ex­plores the re­al­ity and in­sights of pre-ado­les­cent girls who, prior to mak­ing the film, thought very lit­tle about the per­cep­tion of fe­male body im­age within our so­ci­ety, Tay­lor said.

The Kiti­mat Child De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre will re­ceive all pro­ceeds from the doc­u­men­tary, in­clud­ing do­na­tions it re­ceives from peo­ple and or­ga­ni­za­tions who down­load it for free.

“This film is com­pletely grass­roots,” Tay­lor said. “It grew out of a bunch of kids and then we got a bunch of young women from all over the world sub­mit­ting pho­tos to be part of the film.”

Tay­lor said when the film­mak­ers ran into po­ten­tial copy­right is­sues by orig­i­nally fo­cus­ing on mag­a­zine mod­els and pop­u­lar fe­male icons, they reached out via Youtube for girls strug­gling with eat­ing is­sues. —— On the web: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v MIIEzmLkU60

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