Demi Lovato has decided to take up the directorial mantle. The singer has decided to go up in arms with co-director Nicola Marsh — best known for her Netflix docuseries Song Explorer —to work on a documentary currently titled Child Star. Production for the film is already underway and it is expected to release on Hulu sometime in 2024.
The documentary, according to Hulu’s logline, focuses on the highs and lows of child stars, examining how the limelight and popularity affect their lives. “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,” a press release announcing the documentary says. While it has been revealed that Lovato will also be seen in the film, the names of other actors involved are being kept secret at the moment.
“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.”
Michael D. Ratner is on board Lovato’s directorial debut as a producer via his company OBB Pictures. “With this film, we’re setting out to tell a story that is as timely as ever given our evermore connected world and lack of privacy. This story has a deeply rooted shared nostalgia, and is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining,” Ratner said in a statement. “Demi and the talented individuals taking part in this documentary have decided to share their stories authentically, and I’m thrilled to work alongside Demi, Nicola, and the teams at SB Films and Hulu, in bringing their stories to screen.”
There are some eyebrows being raised at Hulu being the service where the documentary will be streamed as the service is notably owned by Disney at the moment and that’s 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.”
However, the streaming platform’s ownership may be in entirely different hands by the time the documentary is released next year, until then here’s how you can watch Hulu outside US.
Belisa Balaban, SVP of documentaries and unscripted series at Hulu Originals, said: “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.”
The series is a joint product of OBB, Lovato’s DLG, and Scooter Braun’s SB Projects, all of which also produced Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil. Kfir Goldberg and Miranda Sherman also produce for OBB, and executive producers include Braun, Lovato, Scott Manson, Scott Ratner, Jennifer McDaniels, and James Shin.
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.
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This is technically not Lovato’s first rodeo when it comes to documentaries. The former Disney star and singer has already been the subject of a brutally honest and eye-opening documentary titled Dancing With The Devil. The documentary premiered on YouTube in April 2021, after opening the SXSW Festival. The four-part series centered on Lovato speaking up about a near-fatal overdose she suffered in 2018, and earned favorable reviews at SXSW.