Emmy and Golden Globe winner Kyra Sedgwick has partnered with Meredith Bagby and Valerie Stadler to launch Big Swing Productions, which has a number of film and television projects in the works. According to the trio, Big Swing is “committed to celebrating new heroes and amplifying bold voices, focusing on inclusive stories with heart and purpose.” according to the trio.
One of the company’s first projects, the independently developed and produced TV series Girls Weekend, is set to premiere in the indie-episodic category at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. Written by and starring Ali Liebegott and directed by Sedgwick, the series tells the story of queer-daughter Erica who returns home to Las Vegas for a “girls weekend” with her estranged homophobic sister, people-pleasing mother, and gun-toting dad. When Dad lets it slip that Mom’s cancer is back with a vengeance, it forces Erica to decide whether or not she can rejoin her family to help Mom battle the disease.
On the TV side, the company has in development The F**king New Guys, based on the true story of NASA’s first class of civilian Shuttle astronauts, which included the first American woman in space, the first African-American, the first Asian-American, the first mother, the first queer person, and the first Jewish person. The series, which tracks a watershed in both civil-rights history and space travel, will tell the story of these astronauts — friends, rivals, lovers and ultimately family — through the infancy of the Shuttle program to the Challenger disaster and beyond. It’s described as The Right Stuff for this generation.
The Authentics, based on the book by Abdi Nazemian, is a young-adult TV series that begins when heroine Daria, a proud first-generation Iranian-American, discovers through a DNA test that she’s adopted. It’s a secret that sends her on a cultural journey through a Los Angeles she never knew existed and helps her build a more expansive view of family. Rachel Goldberg is attached to direct.
Big Swing’s feature slate includes Taffeta, with Kyra Sedgwick set to direct. The broad modern rom-com, written by Heather McNama and Nancy Nyman, has a queer female at its center, an unexpected love triangle, and a universal story about how families love each other, let each other down, and ultimately put the pieces back together.
Based on Ramona Diaz’s award-winning documentary, Imelda is a feature which follows the rise of a Filipino political dynasty through the eyes of its glamorous, extravagant First Lady, following her journey as she seizes power to become one of the most complex and polarizing women in history. Diaz is attached to direct.
Also in the works is an adaption of Benjamin Alire Saenz’s award-winning novel, Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe. The book has sold over 400,000 copies and has been translated into 16 languages. With a script penned by Henry Alberto, the story, set in 1987 El Paso, follows two teenage Mexican-American loners as they explore their sexuality and identity—and ultimately fall in love.
Big Swing also is adapting several novels including Amy Spaulding’s The Summer of Jordi Perez, which revolves around Abby, a gay, fashion-obsessed teenager, who falls for her co-worker.
Actress, producer and director Sedgwick is best known for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama The Closer, which landed her an Emmy and Golden Globe awards. She made her directorial debut with the 2017 Lifetime movie Story of a Girl, which earned her a DGA nomination. Sedgwick, who recently directed an episode of Grace and Frankie, is repped by CAA.
Writer and producer Bagby was a senior development executive at DreamWorks in Los Angeles, where she shepherded such projects as Dreamgirls, Terminal, Last Kiss, Ring II, Lemony Snicket, Just Like Heaven, Dinner for Schmucks, among others. Bagby previously was a political reporter and producer for CNN. Her books include: We’ve Got Issues, Rational Exuberance, and an ongoing series, The Annual Report of the USA.
Stadler co-founded Fat Chance Films, where she developed the play Prey for Rock & Roll, which was adapted into a feature film. She developed and co-produced Cavedweller for Showtime starring Sedgwick and Aidan Quinn. Her past films include Life of a King, Fallen Star: Finding Home, and Sunset Stories (which also marked her debut as a screenwriter). Most recently, Stadler was the head of Production and Development for Fluency, a multiplatform studio under NBCU Hispanic Enterprises.
Big Swing Productions is repped by Schreck Rose Dapello Adams.
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