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BEDA 2015 Featured Speakers
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Viridiana Lieberman

Co-director, writer, cinematographer, and editor of Fattitude, is a filmmaker and writer who lives in New York. She received her BFA in film from the Miami International University of Art and Design. In 2008, she directed her first fictional short, The Crumbling


After two years teaching film and TV Production at Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL, she became an associate producer and lead editor at Crown Point Productions. Her work at Crown Point was seen on Oxygen, OLN, Ion and The Travel Network. While editing multiple shorts (Fractured Minds (2011), Table for 2 (2011), Last Run (2011), Sutures (2012), The Garg Hunter (2012) and a feature Taste It: A Comedy about the Recession (2012), Viridiana completed her MA in Women Studies at Florida Atlantic University in 2012.


Upon graduating, she moved to New York where she began directing a feature-length documentary about the musical Lesbian Love Octagon. Also in 2013, she joined the film Back on Board: Greg Louganis as an associate producer and assistant editor. In 2014, her book Sports Heroines on Film: A Critical Study of Cinematic Women Athletes, Coaches and Owners was released by McFarland Publishing.


Currently, Viri works freelance as a director, editor and cinematographer for companies including Flagpole Swim, The Greater NY Dental Meeting and Moxie Firecracker Films.



Lindsey Averill

Producer, co-director and writer of Fattitude is an academic, a writer, an activist and a film producer who lives in Boca Raton, FL. She completed her MFA in writing from Emerson College and is ABD in the Comparative Studies PhD Program at Florida Atlantic University.  The focus of Lindsey’s work is feminism, fat civil rights and the representation of fat bodies in popular culture.


In 2000, the Orlando Chamber of Commerce honored her for designing, implementing and fundraising for programming that exemplified the realities of classism for over 2000 participants. Since 2005 Lindsey has worked as a college professor teaching women’s studies, literature and writing courses. She was also the chair of the English and Communications department at Keiser University from 2009 – 2011, where she supervised and evaluated the entire English and Communications faculty and designed extensive student programming related to social justice. Lindsey regularly contributes to XOJane and maintains a blog called Feminist Cupcake.


Funded by a successful Kickstarter, Fattitude is Lindsey and Viri’s first film together.


Fattitude is a groundbreaking feature-length documentary that exposes how our culture encourages weight bias and then offers alternative ideas and ways of thinking, those which embrace body acceptance at all sizes. The film looks to change the national conversation about body image so that it focuses not only on issues of self-acceptance, but also on legitimate questions of systemic prejudice, for example the relationship between race, poverty and obesity.


Fattitude features the voices of Ricki Lake, Deb Burgard, Andrew Walen, Winne Holzman, Guy Branum, Tess Munster and many more.  Discussion of Fattitude has been seen in media all over the world, including  xojane, Huffpost Live, NPR, Missy Magazine, News24, ABC, Huffington Post Women, The Dr. Oz Show and many others.



Kai Hibbard

is a body acceptance activist, motivational speaker, writer, rebel, nerd at heart and hot chocolate connoisseur, with a knack for talking loud and fast. When not combating mass media hypocrisy and body shaming on social media, she uses her voice to promote body positivity and shed light on issues close to her heart.


Kai was first cast into the spotlight through her participation in, and subsequent denunciation of, the weight loss game show The Biggest Loser. Going through the program, she realized the negative impact the show had, not only on her own life, but on society in general. Vowing to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, Kai has fought, often as the lone voice, against unrealistic and damaging message in the media regarding our bodies in general. Over time, that struggle has been featured in countless magazines and newscasts, both domestically and internationally, ranging from The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, Good Morning America, ABC News, CBS News, E!, Star Magazine, US Weekly, People, TMZ, The NY Times, The NY Post, Inside Edition, Redbook, Access Hollywood, FoxNews,The Globe, Jezebel, Huffington Post Live and Upworthy, where Kai’s honest, straight-forward approach to her own story never fails to shine through.


Drawing on experiences from her own journey, as well as her education in psychology and social work, Kai explores living healthy and being happy with her body in a society that inundates people with the message that she shouldn’t. Through well researched and empirically backed discourse, she encourages people to think independently and critically about the messages they are being sent in the media. She urges people to be comfortable in their own skin, embrace who they are, and own the space they take up in the world with both the good and the bad that follows, knowing this to be the best first step toward a happier, healthier existence.


Most of Kai’s time is spent juggling family and professional life. When not writing for publications like xoJane, working on her book, speaking, being interviewed for various outlets or keeping people encouraged on social media, she is reading studies, preparing new presentations and plotting ways to keep her six year old in bed at bedtime.

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