SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 06, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Craigslist, the go-to website for finding jobs, housing and deals, offered an unexpected opportunity for LA director Ryan Sage and Chicago writer Dale Zawada to realize their dream of making a movie. “Worth the Weight,” the story of one man’s quest to find love while on the challenging journey of major weight loss, will have its World Premiere at San Jose’s Cinequest film festival Friday, March 2nd, capping off a year long production that began with a short post on Craigslist and culminating with the writer and director meeting in person for the first time at the festival.

“I can’t say I was expecting to sell my first script on Craigslist,” said Zawada. “But my goal was always to get my script into the hands of some talented and passionate filmmakers and this just seemed like the right opportunity.”

Sage, a promo writer/producer for ABC’s hit show “Modern Family,” who has directed many award-winning shorts, commercials and TV pilots, was looking to take on the challenge of a feature length film. Unfortunately, he lacked the right script. Sifting through dozens of responses from his Craigslist post, Sage discovered “Worth the Weight” submitted by Chicago-based stand up comic Zawada and knew he had found something special.

“What I loved was the story felt very real to me and it was peppered with these really funny moments,” said Sage. “It really captured the ups and downs and realization by the main characters that people are defined by more than just their size. Their hopes, their outlook on life and the way they see themselves are just as important. It’s an inspiring message that I think will resonate for people, with or without weight issues.””Worth the Weight” depicts the hard road of weight loss coupled with a journey to find love – a story many can relate to.

Steering clear of the standard transformation formula seen on many current television shows such as “Biggest Loser,” the hero finds acceptance – and love – in unexpected places.Another reality for Sage was the need to make this film on a tight budget. Shooting on weekends allowed cast and crew to keep their day jobs and also gave lead actors Robbie Kaller and Jillian Leigh more time to delve into their characters. Zawada would also use this time to hone the script from Chicago after getting notes on production from the weekend’s prior shoot.”I really think the extra work we put in paid off,” said Sage. “The actors give some truly breakout performances with amazing subtlety and nuance. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were both household names within ten years.”

Worth the Weight – Tease from Ryan Sage on Vimeo.

The festival will have additional special meaning for both Sage and producer, Kristina Denton. Denton was born and raised in San Jose, and graduated from San Jose State University in 2007. Sage spent five years studying film at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and spent every summer growing up at his grandparent’s house in nearby Santa Rosa.

“This is really special for both Kristina and I and we can’t think of a better festival to premiere at,” said Sage. “It’s basically a homecoming, only without the tiara. Although I’m packing mine just in case.”

“Worth the Weight” Cinequest Screenings:
Friday, March 2nd – 9:45pm (WORLD PREMIERE) – San Jose Repertory Theatre
Sunday, March 4th – 4:00pm – Camera 12, San Jose, CA
Wednesday, March 7th – 11:45am – Camera 12, San Jose, CA
If you’d like more information, a screener or to schedule any interviews, please call Ryan Sage at 818-613-9024 or email


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