EXCLUSIVE: The Truth About Emanuel, Tanner Hall helmer Francesca Gregorini has signed on to direct The Match, the first feature project under Four Daughters, a development and production company dedicated to telling stories that celebrate inclusion.
The pic is based on Bruce Schoenfeld’s book of the same name. It’s inspired by the true story of two remarkable women, Althea Gibson and Angela Buxton. The pair formed a friendship that crossed many perceived divides and would lead to triumph at Wimbledon while enduring unspeakable bigotry. Althea and Angela were trailblazers who defied racism, gender inequality and anti-semitism in one of the greatest sporting upsets in history and in so doing began a complex and moving friendship that changed their lives.
Julie Snyder (Tanner Hall, Above Suspicion) will produce.
Founded by longtime friends Richard Stern and Navid McIlhargey, the company designed its mission with their respective daughters in mind. Stern’s background includes Chief Product Officer at Audible and Head of Media Products for Sony PlayStation. McIlhargey has served in senior leadership roles at New Regency, Silver Pictures and Revolution Studios.
“Our society is starting to have substantial and long-overdue conversations about privilege, discrimination, and inclusion. We’re all gaining deeper insights into the intersectionality of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity and how they form a nuanced spectrum of human identity,” explains Stern. “As allies of these movements, we wanted to create a safe space where inspirational stories depicting the complexities of identity could be told and passionate storytellers could find a home. That’s our mission.”
“To live our mission at Four Daughters, how we tell stories is as important as the stories themselves,” notes McIlhargey. “We want to align creative teams that are inclusive, authentic and representative, so that we can contribute to a future that expresses a diverse perspective, on screen and in production. Our dream is to have our daughters grow up in a future world where a company like Four Daughters would be a charming anachronism because EVERY company operates this way, and filmmaking is the representative and inclusive art form we all want it to be.”
Gregorini has also directed episodes of BBC America’s Emmy-nominated Killing Eve, Netflix’s Chambers and Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.
“Four Daughters’ mission resonates with me because growing up I did not see many strong women characters in film, and as such my directing career has largely been focused on the female journey,” said Gregorini. “’The Match is a story of bold women who support each other and won’t be sidelined. I find that incredibly inspiring, and am honored to help bring their groundbreaking story to life.”
“I’m delighted to have a chance to partner with Francesca again, having witnessed firsthand the extraordinary vision she brought to Tanner Hall — the first film we worked on together,” added Snyder. “And I am incredibly proud that Richard and Navid have chosen The Match as Four Daughters’ inaugural film. I look forward to working with them to bring Althea and Angela’s powerful story of sportsmanship, tenacity, courage, and friendship to audiences everywhere.”