Demi Lovato is stepping into the director’s chair.
The singer, songwriter and actor will make their directorial debut with “Child Star” (working title), a feature-length documentary that aims to “deconstruct the highs and lows of growing up in the spotlight through the lens of some of the world’s most famous former child stars, including Lovato,” according to a press release.
Lovato will co-direct alongside Nicola Marsh (“Stay on Board: The Leo Baker Story,” “Song Exploder”). Producers include Michael D. Ratner’s OBB Pictures, Lovato’s production banner DLG and Scooter Braun’s SB Projects. The three companies have worked together before on the pop star’s docuseries “Dancing With the Devil,” which premiered at SXSW in 2021 and received critical acclaim. “Dancing With the Devil” took a close look at Lovato’s personal life and struggles with addiction, particularly their near-fatal overdose in 2018.
The documentary will stream exclusively on Hulu in 2024. The streaming service is notably owned by Disney, where Lovato got their start as a teen in the Disney Channel original movie “Camp Rock” and TV show “Sonny With a Chance.” Lovato has been openly critical of their time on Disney Channel, telling Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy” podcast last year: “There was this extreme workload that I think put a lot of pressure on us, and that’s why some of us turned to… I personally turned to, if you’re going to work me like an adult, I’m going to party like an adult. And that, at 16-17, wasn’t healthy at all.”
The film promises interviews with a number of former child stars, though participants are being kept under tight wraps for now. “Through intimate conversations led by Lovato, verité footage, and archival material from all subjects involved, the film will reach beyond the traditional narratives seen in op-eds and tabloids to consider the changing nature of growing up in an increasingly connected and public world,” the press release says.
“There is no better film or topic for my directorial debut than this story, which is close to home,” Lovato said in a statement. “Our project sheds light on important messages about growing up in the public eye, learning to protect our boundaries, and becoming active advocates of our own destinies. I’m humbled to be able to learn from the individuals who have lived the unique experience of child stardom and share their stories in our film.”
Belisa Balaban, SVP of documentaries and unscripted series at Hulu Originals, added: “At the heart of our documentaries are storytellers with distinct backgrounds and perspectives who leave no page of their stories unturned. Demi’s first-hand experience and personal relationships are all on bold display in this poignant and exploratory film. Our audience has long been interested in delving into the nuances of pop culture, and Demi’s story – hard truths and all – uniquely suits her to the kind of stories we feel fortunate to tell at Hulu.”
Michael D. Ratner, Kfir Goldberg and Miranda Sherman will produce for OBB Pictures, with Scott Ratner serving as an executive producer. Lovato will also executive produce, along with Braun, Scott Manson, Jennifer McDaniels and James Shin for SB Projects.
Lovato is repped by SB Projects, UTA and CCGG Law. Michael D. Ratner and OBB Media are repped by CAA and Barnes Morris Klein & Yorn. Marsh is repped by WME.