Disney Greenlights Doc On Nigerian Boy Famed For Viral Ballet Video – Deadline

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EXCLUSIVE: Disney Original Documentary at the moment revealed its subsequent undertaking, a characteristic documentary on Anthony Madu, the Nigerian boy who grew to become a viral sensation after a video confirmed him dancing ballet barefoot on a wet avenue exterior Lagos.

Oscar nominee Matt Ogens and Kachi Benson are directing Madu, which is able to comply with a outstanding course of occasions that started in 2020 when Anthony’s ballet instructor posted 44 seconds of him performing sleek pirouettes and leaps in that sudden setting. Madu was simply 11 on the time. The transient video gained hearts around the globe and led to Madu incomes a scholarship to check on the 100-year-old Elmhurst Ballet College within the U.Ok.

The doc announcement got here as younger Madu readies for an look this weekend at Disney’s large D23 expo in Anaheim, California, the place followers will get to see the primary footage from the movie. The corporate says Madu, a manufacturing of Looking Lane Movies, will get a competition run earlier than a restricted theatrical launch.

“Having grown up in an remoted group exterior of Lagos and with virtually no formal coaching, audiences will get a detailed take a look at Anthony’s journey after being awarded a scholarship to Elmhurst Ballet College, one of the prestigious ballet colleges in the UK,” Disney Authentic Documentary stated in a launch. “Anthony comes from a group with restricted alternatives, making this [a] probability of a lifetime to pursue his dream… By immersing the viewers in Lagos’s tradition and engaging environment, Ogens and Benson use their distinctive views to carry the movie to life within the true spirit of Nigeria and its folks. That includes intimate vérité and gorgeous visuals, the movie will immerse audiences into the characters’ worlds and study their journeys in profoundly inspiring methods.”

Marjon Javadi, vp of Disney Authentic Documentary, stated in a press release, “Anthony’s journey is a stupendous one, filled with braveness, development and acceptance. We goal to share distinctive, numerous and international views with audiences, filled with magic and coronary heart. We’re thrilled to companion with Matt, Kachi and Looking Lane Movies to share this touching story with the world.”

Director Matt Ogens
Courtesy of Matt Ogens

Ogens earned an Academy Award nomination earlier this 12 months for his Netflix brief doc Audible, which adopted a handful of highschool college students on the Maryland College for the Deaf. His credit embrace ESPN’s 30 for 30: From Harlem with Love, and the Emmy-nominated documentary sequence Why We Combat. Benson is the award-winning director of Daughters of Chibok, a documentary in regards to the 276 Nigerian schoolgirls who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists. Madu marks the primary collaboration between Benson and Ogens.

“Our shared journey is about curiosity and creating an understanding of various cultures by means of our reference to one another,” Ogens and Benson stated in a press release. “Finally, this can be a journey of discovery, development, belonging and acceptance, a theme we each personally relate to. Making his voice heard is our final drive, and we consider Anthony’s extraordinary story will take advantage of charming, emotional, and riveting movie both of us have advised.”

Madu is directed by Ogens and Benson and produced by Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill and Rachel Halilej of Looking Lane Movies. Marjon Javadi oversees the undertaking for Disney Authentic Documentary.

Madu is a part of a rising slate of movies from Disney Authentic Documentary. Its critically-acclaimed Mija will premiere on Disney+ subsequent Friday, and Mickey: The Story of a Mouse will stream on Disney+ later this fall. If These Partitions Might Sing, a Disney Authentic Documentary in regards to the Abbey Highway recording studios directed by Mary McCartney (Paul McCartney’s daughter) simply premiered at Telluride. It additionally has an untitled movie about Jim Henson within the works, in addition to Goodbye Yellowbrick Highway: The Closing Elton John Performances and The Years That Made His Legend, directed by R.J. Cutler and David Furnish, Elton John’s husband.

Madu seems to be a can’t miss undertaking, given the credentials of the filmmakers and their topic. Anthony Mmesoma Madu is just not solely a gifted ballet dancer, however a charmer possessed of endearing enthusiasm and humility.

“Ballet is my life and I need to apply in every single place,” Madu stated in an interview in 2020 with the Australian Broadcasting Company. “After I’m dancing I really feel as if I’m on prime of the world.”

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