Guests at The Donald W. Nixon Centre gathered to enjoy a free screening of “Fat Boy Chronicles” and a Q&A session with members of the film’s production and cast.
Based on the novel written by Diane Lang and Michael Buchanan, “Fat Boy Chronicles” follows the story of high school freshman, Jimmy Winterpock, as he overcomes the struggles of being an obese, bullied teen.
Though the film was never released in local theaters, it was available on Netflix for about four years.
Viewers at the Nixon Centre undoubtedly recognized locations throughout the film. The majority of the film was shot at Newnan High School, and featured many local residents as extras. Locals Jonathan Hickman, Jason Winn and Jackson Giles were involved in the film’s production.
“I grew up here and it was great to be back and film here,” said Giles, producer of the film.
Following the screening, guests were invited to stay for a brief Q&A and meet with some of the cast and production.
Michael Buchanan, screenplay writer and producer, expressed his gratitude for the anti-bullying film’s success and powerful message.
“It’s been around the world and back,” Buchanan said. “We want people to put the message into action, to be kind because we can always treat people better.”
Buchanan, who taught 32 years, revealed that the story was based on a student he once had. According to the former teacher, he was approached by a student who wanted to help other victims of bullying.
“Every kid in the film was based on someone I taught or knew,” Buchanan said. The writer also added that many of the teachers and adults in the film were based on personalities of those he had encountered.
“When we wrote the book and screenplay, we purposely left out aspects that anchor the story to a time or place. We wanted it to be accessible for many generations. Unfortunately, the problem of bullying has not gone away.”