EXCLUSIVE: Emmy-nominated writer, producer and director Nzingha Stewart (Little Fires Everywhere, Tall Girl) is set to direct five episodes, including the pilot episode, of Netflix limited series From Scratch, starring and executive produced by Zoe Saldana. Based on Tembi Locke’s best-selling memoir, the series is from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner, Saldana’s CineStar and 3 Arts Entertainment. Stewart will also serve as producing director. Production begins this spring.
From Scratch is 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.
Locke’s sister Attica Locke (Empire, When They See Us), will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Saldana. Witherspoon and her producing partner, Lauren Neustadter will executive produce under Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine banner, along with Richard Abate, Jermaine Johnson and Will Rowbotham of 3 Arts Entertainment. Saldana’s sisters Cisely Saldana and Mariel Saldana will co-produce.
From Scratch was published in 2019 by Simon and Schuster and was selected as Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine May 2019 book pick.
Stewart began her career at NYU’s Gallatin School and upon graduation went on to shoot over a hundred music videos for artists like Common, Eve, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent breaking down barriers for women of color in the music video world along the way. Most recently, Stewart directed episodes of Little Fires Everywhere, which has been nominated for multiple NAACP awards as well as the Netflix hit, Tall Girl, and episodes of Shonda Rhimes’ upcoming series, Inventing Anna. She broke into the world of film as an Executive Producer on the groundbreaking Lionsgate film, For Colored Girls, as well as episodes of Black Monday, Grey’s Anatomy, A Million Little Things, Good Girls, Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder. Stewart’s writing credits include With This Ring and The Tenth Date which she also directed. Next up on the directing front is the feature film Life in Motion, a biopic about powerhouse prima ballerina Misty Copeland. Stewart is repped by Stewart is repped by A3 Artists, Management 360, and attorney Ryan Nord.