From the producers of the hugely successful December 2013 TEDxAustinWomen comes the official documentary film based on 25-year-old Lizzie Velasquez, the sensational breakout speaker whose "How do You Define Yourself?" talk has received more than 9 million views to date.
Currently titled ("The Lizzie Project", the film sets to reveal Lizzie's extraordinary life ÔÇô thriving with the rarest of syndromes, surviving being named "the world's ugliest woman" in a widely viewed video, and utilizing her inspirational spirit for a mission to make the online environment a more positive place. A Kickstarter campaign for the film launched on May 2nd, and will run until the end of the month.
Born with a rare, unnamed syndrome that only three people in the world are known to have, Lizzie's body has an inability to gain weight and she has never been more than 62 pounds her life. Now, at 25, Lizzie is the author of three books, one of the most sought after motivational speakers and an inspiration to millions of people.
"Lizzie's survival of being bullied so publicly and her incredible torch of self-worth and positivity is inspirational in a time when too many children and teens are struggling with the same issues," said first time director Sara Bordo, whose Women Rising shingle will also produce the film. "The movie will show how Lizzie is dedicating her life to making a true difference and inspiring others to support each other, online and off."
"I know first hand how cruel the internet can be, but having come out on the other side, I now feel a tremendous amount of love and support from the online community. I want to give people who are struggling with their own adversity ÔÇô whatever theirs may be ÔÇô hope that you can survive being bullied," said Lizzie Velasquez.
"Kickstarter is the best example of what is possible when a community comes together. This was a perfect place to fundraise for our film, providing us with authentic, intimate ways for Lizzie's network of supporters, new and existing, to be participants in this movement to address online bullying," added Bordo.
Bordo has assembled a talented team for the film, reuniting her with two members of her TEDxAustinWomen summit; Alexis Jones, founder and author of I AM THAT GIRL, serves as an executive producer and Ngoc Nguyen, a veteran entertainment publicist from SXSW, CAA and Paramount Pictures, comes on board as an associate producer. Mike Campo, of the award-winning documentary THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE, joins the team as writer.
The film is set to begin shooting in Austin in June.
Women Rising creates media and experiences to empower girls and women worldwide. In 2013, Women Rising was behind the production and programming of TEDxAustinWomen, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. The event succeeded with outstanding viewership numbers and raised awareness to an online audience that reached 12.5 million people.
Currently, as producers of the official documentary based on the life of Lizzie Velasquez, currently titled "The Lizzie Project," Women Rising will oversee every aspect of the film from development to production to distribution.