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Sanaa Hamri Directing Michaela DePrince Movie ‘Taking Flight’

Sanaa Hamri will direct MGM’s “Taking Flight,” about ballerina Michaela DePrince, Variety has learned exclusively.

Alloy Entertainment is producing. The studio picked up the rights earlier this year to Michaela and Elaine DePrince’s memoir “Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina,” which follows Michaela DePrince’s life from an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone to a world renowned ballerina.

DePrince was featured in the 2011 documentary “First Position” about her and other young ballet dancers preparing to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix. She is a member of Dutch National Ballet’s main dance company.

Elysa Dutton and Les Morgenstein from Alloy Features are producing, with Matt Dines overseeing from MGM.

Hamri is a native of Morocco. She broke into the business as a music video director for Mariah Carey’s “Crybaby” video and worked with Jadakiss, Prince, Sting and Common. Her movie credits include “Something New,” “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” and “Just Wright.”

Hamri is an executive producer on “Empire” and has directed several episodes.

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