Filmmaker Barry Levinson to Helm Documentary on Obesity Crisis in America

The Creative Coalition's Spotlight Initiative Explores America's Unhealthy Relationship with Food

Jan 26, 2010, 11:00 ET from The Creative Coalition

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The Creative Coalition today announced that Barry Levinson, Academy Award-winning director of Wag the Dog and Rain Man, will explore America's burgeoning obesity crisis in a new documentary. The film is part of The Spotlight Initiative, a series of independent films with messages that make a positive difference in the world.  

"The evolution of the obesity crisis in America is a fascinating and compelling human story. It's the hidden enemy within our borders that no one talks about," said Mr. Levinson.

Robin Bronk, executive director of The Creative Coalition, added, "Obesity is a serious health crisis. The Spotlight Initiative uses the power of film to bring attention to social cause and that's why we're delighted to be working with a master storyteller like Barry Levinson to bring this important issue to light."

Today, two out of three Americans are overweight or obese. And despite growing public attention to the issue, studies suggest that by 2030 nearly nine out of 10 Americans will be overweight.[i],[ii] The health risks of this crisis are well-documented and significant: Excess weight is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, liver and gallbladder disease, and infertility, among other diseases and conditions.[iii]

The film project will be fully funded by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and its alli brand, with complete creative control given to Mr. Levinson, his filmmaking team, and The Creative Coalition.

"Obesity is a crisis for America," said Rachel Ferdinando, vice president, alli, GSK Consumer Healthcare. "We are proud and pleased to partner with The Creative Coalition as a vehicle to bring attention to this critical issue."

As part of this project, The Creative Coalition hosted a dialogue event yesterday in Park City during the film festival. Sponsored by GSKCH, the event examined the role the entertainment industry can play in changing America's damaged relationship with food.

The Spotlight Initiative was launched in 2007 by The Creative Coalition to support programs that use the art of filmmaking to shed light on important social issues of today's world. Since its inception, The Spotlight Initiative has explored issues such as women's rights and empowerment, mental illness, advocacy of the arts, and environmental and climate change issues.

About The Creative Coalition

The Creative Coalition ( is the premiere 501c(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating its members on issues of public importance. Headquartered in New York City, The Creative Coalition also has offices in Washington, DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

About alli

alli is the only FDA-approved weight-loss product available to overweight adults, 18 years or older, without a prescription.  alli is a clinically-proven product with a comprehensive, individualized action plan. The alli program encourages modest, gradual weight loss, known by experts as the best way to lose weight. alli (60 mg orlistat capsules) is safe and effective when used as directed. Because of the way it works, alli can help make you conscious of the foods you eat, which helps you lose weight and learn how to make healthy choices for life.

About GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is one of the world's largest over-the-counter consumer healthcare products companies. Its more than 30 well-known brands include the leading smoking cessation products, Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ and Commit® as well as many medicine cabinet staples, including Aquafresh®, Sensodyne,® Tums® and Breathe Right®.

About GlaxoSmithKline

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit:


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Dennis St. Rose





SOURCE The Creative Coalition