For quite sometime, director Ava Duvernay has been developing her first television show, Queen Sugar. The news first surfaced in December 2014 in an interview with The Guardian, evolving much more since then. The television show is based on the book Queen Sugar, released by author Natalie Baszile. It tells the story of an African-American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane in Louisiana and leaves Los Angeles for a fresh new start in the South. The 13-episode series is set to be aired on Oprah’s OWN with a release date scheduled for later this year. According to an interview with ReelBlack during Sundance, Duvernay says the show will feature an all female editorial director team pulling from a lot of African American independent film directors. Duvernay also mentioned that she was headed on a flight to New Orleans to begin filming for the project, which is very likely where it will take place. Baszile’s Amazon page highlights the books description as following.
“Why exactly Charley Bordelon’s late father left her eight hundred sprawling acres of sugarcane land in rural Louisiana is as mysterious as it was generous. Recognizing this as a chance to start over, Charley and her eleven-year-old daughter, Micah, say good-bye to Los Angeles.”
But despite a fresh new start, there’s no guarantee that things would actually work, according to the story. They arrive just in time for growing season but no amount of planning can prepare Charley for a Louisiana that’s mired in the past: as her judgmental but big-hearted grandmother tells her, cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley must balance the overwhelming challenges of her farm with the demands of a homesick daughter, a bitter and troubled brother, and the startling desires of her own heart. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to watch the interview below with Duvernay on the developing project.