If our #AllBodies Campaign has taught us anything, it’s the profound impact of fatphobia and diet culture in media on society as a whole. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable to cultural messages around weight and body size/shape. My Name Is Moe is a touching short film about these issues, shining a light on body image in teenage boys. We had the pleasure of talking to the star, writer, and director Kabir McNeely about the project and his future as a filmmaker.
What motivated or inspired you to pursue filmmaking?
I grew up on movies. When I was seven, my dad told me a bedtime story called Kevin Smokes A Cigarette. It’s just as basic and bizarre as it sounds, but I was moved by it so I picked up my iPad the next day and filmed him acting it out. I fell in love with storytelling and I haven’t stopped since.
What was the inspiration behind My Name Is Moe?
I had recently worked on a project which fell through. It was devastating, but I quickly moved on and decided to hit the ground running with something new. I wanted to explore eating disorders specifically because it isn’t a topic which I have made anything about before. Most of my work has revolved around adoption awareness and LGBTQ+ issues, so I thought this idea was a good way for me to push myself creatively. I also know that a lot of representation around body image and mental health focuses on girls, so it was important to me to specifically target boys with these issues. I’ve really enjoyed the entire process and am grateful to have had the opportunity to make this film.
What do you hope viewers take away from the film?
If nothing else, I hope people will try to put themselves in the shoes of others more often. We are all much more than the way we look.
What is in the future for you as a filmmaker?
I’m not sure at the moment. I have a screenplay for a feature film which I’m currently working on. I’ve also been auditioning to be an actor in other works, so we’ll see what happens.