“Hair Love,” an animated short film that started as a passion project celebrating black fathers, their daughters and their natural hair, has now been picked up by Sony Pictures Animation, and people on Twitter are already excited.
Filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry announced his partnership with the studio earlier this week, as Deadline first reported. Cherry, who was an executive producer for “BlacKkKlansman,” had previously announced the project with a successful Kickstarter campaign two years ago.
“Hair Love” follows the character Stephen, a black father who learns how to do his daughter Zuri’s hair for the first time, according to a description for the film on the fundraising website.
“Despite having long locks, Stephen has been used to his wife doing his daughter’s hair, so when she is unavailable right before a big event, Stephen will have to figure it out on his own,” the description says. “This sounds simple enough, but we soon come to find that Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own.”
Cherry said he was inspired to move forward with his film idea after seeing a number of viral videos that captured the ways black fathers connect with their daughters over hair.
“This story was born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color,” the description says. “It is our hope that this project will inspire.”
Cherry announced in a tweet Wednesday that “Hair Love” will also have an accompanying picture book with the same title. Hair Love, with illustrations by Vashti Harrison, is slated to be released on May 14 through Kokila Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, he wrote.
Sony Pictures Animation President Kristine Belson told Deadline that audiences have been “yearning to see fresh stories that are universal and culturally authentic.”
“‘Hair Love’ is a wonderful father-daughter story and we are proud to nurture talented young filmmakers like Matthew who are breaking new ground,” she said.
The short film is co-directed by Cherry and Everett Downing Jr., produced by Cherry, Karen Toliver, Stacey Newton, Monica A. Young, and executive produced by Frank Abney and Peter Ramsey, according to Deadline.
“Hair Love” is slated to reach wide audiences later this year, the publication added. Sony Pictures Animation did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
People have continued to celebrate the news of the Sony pickup on social media: