New Line has decided to “Lift Every Voice,” picking up a pitch by scribe Bobby Smith Jr. (“Their Eyes Were Watching God”) about gospel choir competitions and setting it up with veteran manager Holly Davis-Carter.
Smith’s story centers on a young minister who returns to the mean streets of Camden, N.J., and creates a gospel choir to keep kids away from drugs, gangs and violence. The choir begins to win gospel competitions, culminating in the national championship.
Davis-Carter, an exec producer on Lionsgate’s “In the Mix” and Screen Gems’ “The Gospel,” told Daily Variety she and Smith were inspired by “Drumline” and “Coach Carter” in developing “Lift Every Voice” as a way of tapping into the urban faith-based market. “Telling stories about faith-based inspiration is what I live, eat and breathe,” she added.
Davis-Carter is the principal of Los Angeles-based Releve Entertainment and manages Usher Raymond and an array of gospel singers. She’s also a member of a gospel choir.
Lindsay Hughes will exec produce “Lift Every Voice.”
Smith penned and co-produced “Jason’s Lyric.” New Line execs Mark Ordesky and Kathy Busby are overseeing “Lift Every Voice.”