Actors Sherri Shepherd and Jo Marie Payton have joined the feature film “ImPossible” in key roles.
The movie, from executive producer and NFL champ Donald Driver, will weave narrative with Brandon Keith Lewis’ real-life diabetes battle. He stars and co-wrote the film with partner Seckeita Lewis, who directs. Lewis contends with morbid obesity and type 2 diabetes onscreen and in his life.
Shepherd (“30 Rock,” “The Sex Lives of College Girls”) and Payton (the beloved matriarch of the TV classic “Family Matters”) are joined by supporting cast Gregg Daniel (“True Blood,” “Insecure”) and Irma P. Hall (“Soul Food,” “Collateral”). Principal photography recently wrapped in Texas and New Mexico, and a second unit documenting Lewis’ efforts to change his body and life will soon get underway.
“ImPossible” received a Panavision New Filmmakers grant and was incubated at the Sundance Collab producers’ course. Milan Chakraborty of Marginal MediaWorks (“Assassination Nation”) will produce with Lewis. A distributor is not presently attached.
According to the CDC, more than 100 million Americans are living with diabetes or prediabetes — with higher diagnosis rates attributed to minority communities.
“Our community is not fully aware of the ramifications of uncontrolled diabetes … how much of a devastating toll it can take on your entire family, your body, your hopes, your dreams and your life,” said Shepherd, who also lives with type 2 diabetes.
Lewis calls the project groundbreaking: “I will live out my real-life struggles on screen; beginning the film at my true weight of 330 lbs and walking out at the end of it 100 lbs smaller, without surgery or visual effects. Although the film is scripted, not even the producers know how it will truly end. That all depends on me.”
“‘ImPossible’ was created to save my husband’s life, but our goal grew to wanting to inspire and empower a nation struggling with obesity and diabetes. It is a story about following your dream, no matter how big the barriers. The final scene of the film will be shot eight months from now, revealing the outcome of Brandon’s journey,” said Seckeita Lewis.