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[05/05/06 - 12:00 AM]
American Idol(R) Winner Fantasia Stars in the Lifetime Original Movie 'Life Is Not a Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,' an Inspirational Drama About Overcoming Insurmountable Odds

[via press release from Lifetime]

American Idol(R) Winner Fantasia Stars in the Lifetime Original Movie 'Life Is Not A Fairy Tale: The Fantasia Barrino Story,' an Inspirational Drama About Overcoming Insurmountable Odds

Legendary Choreographer, Actress and Director Debbie Allen Set to Direct Cast Includes Celebrated Actors Loretta Devine ('Crash'), Viola Davis ('Traffic') and Kadeem Hardison ('A Different World')

LOS ANGELES, May 5 -- Principal photography begins this month in New Orleans, Louisiana on the Lifetime Original Movie "LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY," (working title). The telefilm is inspired by the true story of Fantasia Barrino, a teenage single mother who overcame poverty, sexual abuse and illiteracy by using her incredible voice to rise to national prominence as the winner of American Idol(R). Grammy(R)-nominated, platinum-selling recording artist Fantasia will grace the title role, playing herself in the movie.

Prolific actress Loretta Devine ("Dreamgirls," "Crash," "Boston Public," "Waiting to Exhale") has been cast as Fantasia's grandmother, Addie Collins and Tony(R) Award winner Viola Davis ("Traffic," "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit") stars as Fantasia's mother, Diane Barrino. Rounding out the ensemble cast are Kadeem Hardison ("A Different World," "Biker Boyz") in the role of Fantasia's father, JoJo Barrino and newcomer Jamia Simone Nash ("My Wife and Kids") who plays the young Fantasia. Acclaimed Emmy(R) and Golden Globe(R)-winning choreographer, actress and director Debbie Allen ("Fame," "Girlfriends") will direct the film, bringing her boundless experience from in front and behind the stage and screen to this movie. "LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY" is set to premiere this August on Lifetime.

"Fantasia made America fall in love with her through her astounding voice, but few people knew the obstacles she overcame to get where she is now," said Trevor Walton, Senior Vice President, Lifetime Original Movies. "She openly shares her inspirational story, and audiences will see that she is not only a phenomenal singer, but also an impressive actress." Walton continues, "Lead by the multi-talented director Debbie Allen, actors Loretta Devine, Viola Davis and Kadeem Hardison are perfect matches in bringing Fantasia's story to life."

Before she ever captured the hearts and votes of millions to become the winner of American Idol(R), Fantasia Barrino had little to celebrate in her life. As the youngest child of Diane and JoJo Barrino, Fantasia experienced a complicated childhood, low self-esteem and eventually dropped out of school in her early teens. With little education, money or chance of a real future, Fantasia found herself in a loveless, abusive relationship that left her pregnant at sixteen with no one to turn to for help.

The birth of her daughter Zion was the catalyst for Fantasia to rethink her choices and redirect her life. With the encouragement of friends and family, Fantasia took a leap of faith to audition for the hot television show American Idol(R) and quickly won over the judges and audiences with her sassy style and extraordinary voice. Her powerful singing made her an instant sensation and changed her life forever.

"LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY" is produced by Ostar Productions for Lifetime Television. Bill Haber ("Nightmares & Dreamscapes," "Uprising") serves as the executive producer and Ellyn Williams (Lifetime Television's "Hunger Point") co-executive produces. John McMahon ("Nightmares & Dreamscapes") produces the movie and Keith Glover wrote the teleplay based on the autobiography "Life is Not a Fairy Tale" by Fantasia Barrino.

Lifetime is the leader in women's television and one of the top-rated basic cable television networks. A diverse, multi-media company, Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. Lifetime Television, Lifetime Movie Network, Lifetime Real Women, Lifetime Home Entertainment and Lifetime Online are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, a 50/50 joint venture of The Hearst Corporation and The Walt Disney Company.

SOURCE Lifetime Television
Web Site: http://www.lifetimetv.com





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· BOSTON PUBLIC (FOX)
· GIRLFRIENDS (CW)
· HUNGER POINT (LIFETIME)
· LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT (NBC)
· LIFE IS NOT A FAIRY TALE: THE FANTASIA BARRINO STORY (LIFETIME)
· MY WIFE & KIDS (ABC)
· NIGHTMARES & DREAMSCAPES: FROM THE STORIES OF STEPHEN KING (TNT)
· UPRISING (NBC)











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