As a manatee floats weightlessly in spring water, artist Shoog McDaniel (@shooglet) enters the landscape to transport us into a realm where fat, queer, and trans people love their bodies in wet, rocky, forested, and undisturbed natural settings – freely and fully.
This dreamy verité portrait reflects and amplifies Shoog’s practice of guiding their subjects through therapeutic portrait sessions, prioritizing comfort, safety, and pleasure while checking in with shouts of affirmation and radical vulnerability. Subjects and viewers alike are encouraged to own their bodies and the space they take up, and to do so shamelessly in the world outside of judgment and often harsh views of fat people. Beautiful and fat humans are mere specks in the universe amongst ancient trees and moss-covered waterfalls in this magically real world where joy radiates.
Best Short Film - Portland EcoFilm Festival
Audience Award and Special Jury Mention - New Orleans Film Festival
Juried Award - Zinegoak International LGTB Film and Performing Arts Festival, Bilbao Spain
Director’s Choice Award for Best Cinematography - Woods Hole Film Festival