Disney Original Documentary has announced its next feature documentary on Anthony Madu, the Nigerian boy who became a viral sensation after a 44 second video showed him dancing ballet barefoot on a rainy street outside Lagos.
According to Deadline, the film will follow a remarkable course of events that began in 2020 when Anthony’s ballet teacher posted 44 seconds of him performing graceful pirouettes and leaps in that unexpected setting. Madu was just 11 at the time. The brief video won hearts around the world and led to Madu earning a scholarship to study at the 100-year-old Elmhurst Ballet School in the U.K.
Oscar nominee Matt Ogens and Kachi Benson are set to direct “Madu” and it is produced by Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill and Rachel Halilej of Hunting Lane Films. Marjon Javadi oversees the project for Disney Original Documentary.
Madu will appear at the D23 Expo this weekend in Anaheim, California, where fans will get to see the first footage from the film
“Having grown up in an isolated community outside of Lagos and with almost no formal training, audiences will get a close look at Anthony’s journey after being awarded a scholarship to Elmhurst Ballet School, one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the United Kingdom,” Disney Original Documentary said in a release. “Anthony comes from a community with limited opportunities, making this [a] chance of a lifetime to pursue his dream… By immersing the audience in Lagos’s culture and fascinating surroundings, Ogens and Benson use their unique perspectives to bring the film to life in the true spirit of Nigeria and its people. Featuring intimate vérité and stunning visuals, the film will immerse audiences into the characters’ worlds and examine their journeys in profoundly inspiring ways.”
Marjon Javadi, vice president of Disney Original Documentary, said in a statement, “Anthony’s journey is a beautiful one, full of courage, growth and acceptance. We aim to share unique, diverse and global perspectives with audiences, full of magic and heart. We’re thrilled to partner with Matt, Kachi and Hunting Lane Films to share this touching story with the world.”
“Madu” will first get a festival run before a limited theatrical release and eventually land on Disney+.