Madonna to direct film on rise of famed Sierra Leone ballerina

Madonna poses on the red carpet at the Billboard Magazine’s 11th annual Women in Music luncheon in New York December 9, 2016. — Reuters pic
Madonna poses on the red carpet at the Billboard Magazine’s 11th annual Women in Music luncheon in New York December 9, 2016. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, March 14 ― MGM studio has been developing the project since 2015, after buying the rights to Michaela and Elaine DePrince’s memoir: Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina

Michaela DePrince was adopted at age four, after her parents died during Sierra Leone’s civil war. She was brought to the United States by Elaine and Charles DePrince, who have nine adopted children altogether. Encouraged to pursue her talents as a dancer, she graduated from New York’s American Ballet Theatre, and made her professional debut at age 17 in the Joburg Ballet in South Africa.

She was featured in the 2012 ballet documentary, First Position, and appeared in Beyonce’s Lemonade in 2016. She is currently a soloist at the Dutch National Ballet.

Madonna will direct Taking Flight based on this exceptional life story. She made her feature directing debut in 2008 with the British comedy Filth and Wisdom. She also co-wrote 2011’s W.E., about the relationship between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson. She will co-write and direct a film adaptation of Andrew Sean Greer’s novel The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells.

“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” Madonna said. As a parent to adopted children herself, she said: “I am honoured to bring her story to life.”

The screenplay is by Camilla Blackett, who has written for the TV series New Girl. ― AFP-Relaxnews

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