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indieWIRE’s Project of the Day: Consumerism Exposé Doc “The Illusionists”

indieWIRE’s Project of the Day: Consumerism Exposé Doc "The Illusionists"

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

“The Illusionists”

Tweetable Logline:

A feature-length documentary about the commodification of the body and the marketing of unattainable beauty around the world.

Elevator Pitch:

The film will explore the influence that corporations have on our perceptions of ourselves, showing how mass media, advertising and several industries manipulate people’s insecurities about their bodies for profit. The preoccupation with physical beauty is as old as time; what is different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken. It has become our new religion. Everyone is affected: boys, girls, women and men from Los Angeles to Tokyo, passing via Mumbai. “The Illusionists” will examine the historical roots and the economic motives behind the marketing of unattainable beauty.

Production Team:

Our Team:

Writer/Director/Producer: Elena Rossini
Producer: Emmanuel Ryz

About the Production:

“There is a war being waged against our bodies – in the name of corporate profits. What really intrigues me is that happy people are considered “bad consumers” by advertisers and marketers. There are studies that show that sad people are bigger spenders. And thus various industries prey on people’s insecurities and manufacture desires and goals that are very difficult – if not impossible to attain. There’s endless consumerism built around that.” — Elena Rossini

Current Status:

The film is currently in production, fundraising.

For more information and to support the film:
Film’s Website
Kickstarter Page

Be sure to check out our curated Kickstarter page for more information on projects we think you should check out.

If you have an in-the-works project and you’d like to be profiled in an upcoming iW Project of the Day column, submit yourself by filling out this form!

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YES definitely needs to be made and seen


Fund this movie; this obsession with female beauty in the media is an epidemic impairing the ability of every woman to be accepted as an equal in our heteropatriarchical world.


spero di vederlo presto al cinema!

Diana Brighouse

It doesn’t matter how many times it has been done – the message is still not getting through, women (young and old) continue to abuse their bodies through starvation, obesity, and self harm of other sorts. This film should be shown in school to 10-11y olds, in college to 18y olds, in medical schools to future doctors, to teachers and nurses and doctors everywhere. We need more strong women to get the message out there, to re-empower other women and to help our voices to be heard.

Alex T.

I agree to all the comments above (except the first one). This film covers a very important topic that unfortunately is covered here and there in a few articles or TV shows and documentaries. Let’s hope this film reaches people worldwide as I believe that it concerns everyone, not just women. Men need to see this film too! They continue to dominate the advertising and marketing worlds and they need to realize that enough is enough and that things are and will continue to change in the right direction hopefully and especially with the help of dedicated and strong women as Elena Rossini. Let’s just hope that her voice will be heard and not smothered by mysoginistic producers and distributors!


I’ve been desperate to see this film for AGES!


It will help adolescents have a healthier view of their bodies and hopefully prevent some from developing eating disorders!


This film gives a much needed critical examination of the media exploitation and manipulation of body image. Bravo to Elena Rossini for using her creativity and drive to challenge the bombardment of appalling images that have taken over our lives.The tide is turning, Women are raising their voices against this sexual objectification and the ‘dictatorship of manufactured beauty standards’…this film heralds a turning point and gives an opportunity for those involved in producing negative and abusive imagery to wake-up and realise that public opinion is turning against them.

Julie Parker

This film is adressing such an important need right now and I cannot wait to see it. I hope everyone gets behind it so we can see it on the screen!


Brava to the eloquent Comment #11: my thoughts exactly. Bravissima to this young filmmaker for addressing a problem that is so pervasive and affects so many women.


For those who say “Ugh, it’s been done”….. Well, apparently what has been done in the past has not been heard and adequately recognized and has not made a significant difference. The problem is still rampant and women and girls are suffering worldwide because of it. This is a worthy and important project . The need is acute and the time is now, so let’s help to give Elena Rossini the support to bring her considerable talents and her perspective to this continuing travesty. Brava.


This topic can be approached from many angles. The global perspective sets this film apart. I’m looking forward to the filmmaker’s observations about the business of beauty in other cultures.


Awesome!! I am so excited for this movie. People need to see what is happening right before their eyes- literally! I have been angry and frustrated at the illusions in media and entertainment for many years and it is very encouraging to see this subject getting more attention. Now raising three children (two girls and one boy), I am even more aware of the messages in the media. It’s incredible how children are targeted, especially little girls. Let’s hope that this movie will hit home with women around the world so we can start raising our children with realistic expectations of themselves and others. You’ve got my support!


Important subject – should be on the school curriculum


can’t see to watch it!


YES!!! It’s pretty powerful stuff.


Awsome! Thank you for making this really important project. GOOD LUCK!


This is going to be such an important film. There’s a lot of good, valid talk about body image and insecurities, and not enough examination of the profit-driven aspect. Illusions indeed!

Liz Davis

Michael Moore needs to headline this documentary @ The Traverse City Film Festival 2012! Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, IDFA, New York, Telluride, IFF Rotterdam, Berlin, Venice, London…LISTEN UP and follow suit! Critical message for all ages and genders! Get on board!


I’m really looking forward to this film. The subject matter has been covered but not nearly enough or with sufficient depth. Films like this should continue to be made because for evey film examining the problem there are 200 adverts, films, magazines, websites, and tv shows perpetuating the problem.


ugh. it’s been done. too many times.

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