Mara Brock Akil has set a new production company, story27, which will live under her deal that was announced last year with Netflix. Additionally, story27 has named Susie Fitzgerald as its President of Development and Production
In a statement received by Shadow and Act, Akil said, "At story27, thoughtful and entertaining projects centering the humanity of the marginalized is the priority and that starts with identifying the best and most unique storytellers. Susie's artist- friendly approach coupled with her taste and extremely impressive track record allows for story27 to be a destination and home for the next wave of creatives and writers with impactful stories to tell. I'm excited to have her at both the creative and business table with me as we grow the company through our partnership with Netflix and beyond."
“I’m incredibly honored to join Mara and help build the innovative team at story27,” said Fitzgerald. “Mara’s incisive storytelling through memorable characters, as well as her innate ability to identify and develop fresh talent, make her a visionary in the field. I look forward to working closely with her as she creates new work while collaborating with her to seek out new voices with relevant and unexplored narratives for the screen.”
Akil has been steadily working in the year since her Netflix deal was announced and Fitzgerald has also worked in attracting writers such as Jerron Horton and Jeanine Daniels, who are working on the below slate of projects that are in various stages of development.
The first projects from story27 in the works are:
Hour-long drama. Inspired by the real lives of iconic sports agents, Aaron and Eric Goodwin, Agency follows two Black brothers from Oakland whose relationships to each other and their family are tested when they form a sports agency to disrupt the industry and the culture.
Hour-long drama. In this inspired-by adaptation of Judy Blume's YA romance novel, Forever, two Black high schoolers in Los Angeles navigate first love and intimacy amidst social and parental pressures.
Half-hour comedy. In a speculative near future, four young, female Black friends challenge each other to live a fly life, launch some dreams, and land on some purpose.
Stamped from the Beginning
In partnership with One Story Up, Stamped from the Beginning is the hybrid documentary feature adaptation of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's incisive and urgent work of the same name, which chronicles in detail the origins and evolution of racist ideas.
Akil has built her offices in the historic Sugar Hill Arts District in LA's West Adams, "returning her home to her childhood roots of inspiration." She's also "recently expanded her sanctuary space to include a Writers’ Colony next door" and "by day it is a creative space for burgeoning and seasoned writers to simply write, belong and find their voice; by night it transforms into a vibe that cultivates and sustains a creative community."
“We have to lift as we climb,” said Akil. “And if we want the world to spin on its axis in a new inclusive direction, we have to mentor and create opportunities for the next generation by sharing knowledge that will help them cultivate their voices, so they can say what’s burning inside of them to say in an entertaining way. It matters what we put out into the world, and I’m so thrilled to have a passionate partner in Susie to help me manifest all of these dreams.”