From Scratch: Director Nzingha Stewart Tapped for New Limited Series from Netflix

Written by Shanelle Genai 

Published on 22nd of February 2021

Nzingha Stewart attends the premiere of Netflix’s ‘Tall Girl’ at Netflix Home Theater on September 09, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: JC Olivera (Getty Images)

Nzingha Stewart, one of the directors of Hulu’s Emmy Award-winning Little Fire’s Everywhere, will be flexing her directorial skills once again for an upcoming limited series starring and executive produced by Zoe Saldana.

Per Deadline, the series titled From Scratch, will be based on the 2019 bestselling memoir from Tembi Locke and is being described as a “sweeping, autobiographical romance that follows an American woman as she falls in love with a Sicilian man while studying abroad in Italy then builds a life with him in the United States. When she unexpectedly loses him to illness, she is challenged to pull herself through grief so she can raise their daughter as they would have raised her together: with hope, joy, and infinite love.”

Reese Witherspoon, who previously worked with Stewart in Little Fires Everywhere and selected Locke’s memoir as her May 2019 Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine pick, will executive produce the series along with her producing partner Laura Neustadter for Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine production company. Jermaine Johnson, Richard Abate, and Will Rowbotham are also set to executive produce for 3 Arts Entertainment. Attica Locke, sister of Tembi Locke, will work as showrunner for the limited series as well as executive producer alongside Saldana. Sisters Cisely and Mariel Saldana have also been tapped as co-producers.

“This is my dream job. Thank you, God (& the goddesses, – Reese & Lauren & Emily & Attica & Tembi & Zoe),” Stewart captioned in her post on Instagram on Monday.

This is arguably a long time coming for Stewart, who upon graduation from NYU made her mark in the music video world as one out of only a handful of Black women directors at the time, directing talent such as Common, Eve, and Jay-Z. After eventually making the transition to film and television, she would soon rack up several critically acclaimed projects under her belt including: Netflix’s Tall Girl, Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls, Shondaland’s Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, Good Girls, and Showtime’s Black Monday. In addition to From Scratch, Stewart’s upcoming projects also include a biopic of Misty Copeland, the first Black prima ballerina for the American Ballet Theatre, titled Life in Motion.

Production for From Scratch is expected to begin sometime in Spring 2020.

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