Tina Mabry has signed on to direct and co-write Pretty Big, a film being developed by Warner Bros. for HBO Max, with Mike Jackson of Get Lifted Film Co. also producing. It’s based on the true story of Akira Armstrong and the origin of her Pretty Big Movement dance company.
Armstrong, a young plus-sized woman, takes matters into her own hands when she keeps getting rejected from dance companies, despite her obvious talent. When she starts her own company for bodies of all shapes, sizes, and colours, she sets out to win a prestigious competition and prove to the dance community that anyone can dance at an elite level.
Mabry is a producer, writer and director on the series Queen Sugar, which was created by Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.
Her 2009 directorial debut Mississippi Damned was a festival hit, and she also wrote LGBTQ+ cult classic Itty Bitty Titty Committee. She will co-write Pretty Big alongside Dan Steele (Gossip Girl).
Jackson said in a statement: “Our mission at Get Lifted Film Co. is to continue telling compelling stories of people that are often marginalized, and we are so thrilled to be a part of bringing Akira’s journey to the world with our friends at Macro and the incredible creative team led by Tina Mabry. It’s a true gift!”
Kristina Sorensen, another producer, added: “The best part about this experience has been getting to know Akira and bring her story to a new medium, everyone can relate to having a dream and having to build their own opportunities. I’m also beyond thrilled to be working with this talented team on this special story!”
There’s currently no release date for Pretty Big. Other upcoming HBO Max films include Megan Park‘s The Fallout, Steven Soderbergh‘s KIMI, and Chris Winterbauer‘s Moonshot.