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A ‘Hair Love’ series from Oscar winner Matthew A. Cherry is coming to HBO Max

"Hair Love"
A scene from the Oscar-winning animated short “Hair Love,” directed by Matthew A. Cherry.
(ShortsTV)

“Hair Love,” the heartwarming, Oscar-winning short film from writer-director Matthew A. Cherry, is getting a series makeover.

HBO Max has ordered a 12-episode season of “Young Love,” a 2D animated program from Cherry based on his family film about a doting father attempting to style his daughter’s hair. Along with the greenlight news, Cherry put out a casting call for Black voice actors to bring life to the beloved characters.

“Beyond excited to continue telling the story of the young Black millennial family we established in our short film Hair Love as an animated series,” Cherry tweeted Tuesday. "[Young Love] will take a look into the world of young Black millennial parents Stephen & Angela, their daughter Zuri & pet cat Rocky as they juggle careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves.”

Sony Pictures Animation’s “Hair Love” debuted in 2019 to rave reviews before taking home the Oscar for animated short film at the 92nd Academy Awards. After his big win, Cherry explained the importance of the story’s strides for representation in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

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“It felt like a great opportunity to really shine the spotlight on Black fathers, because so often in mainstream media they just get a bad rap,” he said in February. “If you watch movies and TV, you would think they don’t exist, but studies have actually shown that they’re among the most involved groups in their kids’ lives.”

“Hair Love” filmmakers Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver discuss their animated short, which is nominated for a 2020 Oscar.

Cherry, who recently inked a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Television Group, will serve as showrunner of “Young Love,” along with animation veteran Carl Jones. The series will be executive produced by Blue Key Entertainment’s Monica A. Young (producer of “Hair Love”) and Lion Forge Animation’s David Steward II and Carl Reed.

“It’s a privilege to continue our partnership with Matthew Cherry, who has a gift for tapping into meaningful stories that touch our hearts,” said Karen Rupert Toliver, producer of “Hair Love” and executive vice president of creative for Sony Pictures Animation. “I personally can’t wait to collectively laugh and cry with the Young family.”


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