Nigeria: Joel ‘Kachi Benson to Co-Direct Disney’s Original Documentary On Young Nigerian Ballet Dancer

Award-winning Nigerian filmmaker Joel ‘Kachi Benson is directing Disney’s Original Documentary on a Nigerian boy whose ballet video went viral in 2020. The boy, Anthony Madu, became a viral sensation when his teacher uploaded a video of him dancing barefoot in the rain on YouTube. His pirouettes and leaps mesmerized many viewers across the world and eventually fetched him a scholarship at the 100-year-old Elmhurst Ballet School in the U.K.

The documentary titled ‘Madu’ captures Anthony Madu’s journey since he became a viral sensation. He was 11 at the time the video was uploaded.

“Anthony’s journey is a beautiful one, full of courage, growth and acceptance. We aim to share unique, diverse and global perspectives with audiences, full of magic and heart,” said Marjon Javadi, vice president of Disney Original Documentary,

Benson, who won the Venice Award in 2019 for his virtual reality documentary ‘Daughters of Chibok’ is co-directing with Oscar nominee Matt Ogens. In a statement, they disclosed that ‘Madu’ is “a journey of discovery, growth, belonging and acceptance, a theme we both personally relate to. Making his voice heard is our ultimate drive, and we believe Anthony’s extraordinary story will make the most captivating, emotional, and riveting film either of us has told.”

‘Madu’ is part of a growing slate of films from Disney Original Documentary. It is produced by Jamie Patricof, Katie McNeill and Rachel Halilej of Hunting Lane Films while Marjon Javadi oversees the project for Disney Original Documentary.

Footage of the feature documentary was shown to audiences at the D23 Expo held in California, USA. ‘Madu’ will get a festival run before a limited theatrical release.


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