Fox Searchlight Digs the "Phat Girlz"

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Fresh out of my inbox comes a press release from Fox Searchlight that informs us of a movie called "Phat Girlz," which stars Mo'Nique, Eric Roberts, Jack Noseworthy, and Jimmy Jean-Louis. Based on the release, it seems that "Phat Girlz" is about overweight ladies on the hunt for some lovin'. And no, this is not a direct-to-video movie.

Fox Searchlight Pictures President Peter Rice announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights to distribute "Phat Girlz" starring Mo?Nique (?The Parkers?), Jimmy Jean-Louis ("Tears of the Sun"), Godfrey ("Soul Plane"), Joyful Drake ("Beauty Shop"), Oscar® nominee Eric Roberts ("Runaway Train"), Jack Noseworthy ("Undercover Brother") and Kendra C. Johnson in her feature film debut. The film will be released in theatres nationwide on April 7, 2006.

"Phat Girlz" marks the feature directorial and screenwriting debut of Nnegest Likké and was produced by Bobby Newmyer ("Training Day," "The Santa Clause," "sex, lies & videotape" of Outlaw Productions and Steven J. Wolfe ("Twin Falls Idaho") of Sneak Preview Entertainment. The film was executive produced by ?Mo?Nique?s Fat Chance? producers Steven Imes and Mo?Nique of 10 Times Greater Productions, and co-produced by Outlaw Productions? Michael Glassman. "Phat Girlz" was financed by Newmyer, who believed so whole-heartedly in the project he mortgaged his family home to raise the necessary funds.

Said Fox Searchlight Pictures President of Marketing Nancy Utley, ?We love"Phat Girlz," a relatable comedy that celebrates the fact that beautiful women come in all shapes and sizes. We look forward to hearing audiences all over the world laugh as they get to know the memorable characters in this movie.?

Said Writer/Director Nnegest Likké, ?This project has blossomed from the ugly duckling nobody wanted into a most beautiful swan. It is a dream come true to have my first picture distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures.?

Said Mo?Nique, ?I am extremely proud of this project and think that "Phat Girlz" will be the new in-thing. This film is a wake-up call to society and to big women everywhere that it is important to accept and love yourself no matter what your size.?

Starring Mo?Nique as Jazmin Biltmore, a smart-mouthed aspiring fashion designer, "Phat Girlz" is an edgy comedy about two frustrated plus-size women obsessed with their weight while struggling to find love and acceptance in a world full of "hot bodied" babes. The "Phat Girlz" are thrown a major curve ball when they meet the men of their dreams in the most unexpected of ways...

"Phat Girlz" was shot by Directors of Photography John Demps ("The Inkwell") and Dean Lent ("The Civilization of Maxwell Bright") and was edited by Zack Arnold (feature film editing debut). The film?s music was supervised by Dawn Soler ("The Princess Diaries").

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