Oscar-Nominated Dianne Houston to Write and Direct Upcoming MPI Feature Film

June 10, 2020

As reported in Deadline yesterday, MPI is excited to share that Dianne Houston is attached to write and direct our forthcoming MPI Original film The Melony Armstrong Story. Dianne is an Oscar-nominated African American playwright, screenwriter, and director who has written and directed for film and television since 1990.

Check out the Deadline article on the announcement here.

Dianne’s credits include City of Angels, NYPD Blue, Crossing Jordan, Soul Food, Brewster Place, Missy, Runaway Island, and Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland. She also wrote for the acclaimed miniseries When We Rise  as well as Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge, Dre and Michel’le for which she won the Gracie Award and received a Writers’ Guild nomination. She was co-executive producer for three seasons of the FOX series Empire, of which she wrote and/or directed 14 episodes. Her other current projects include the Universal TV western Boley and Pride, a Charley Pride biopic.

Her first film Tuesday Morning Ride was nominated for an Academy Award and she is the first and only African American woman to be nominated for an Oscar for directing. 

The Melony Armstrong Story is based on the inspiring, true story of a mother who works at a shelter for battered women who decides to start a natural hair braiding business to achieve financial independence for herself and others. But to do so she must overcome unexpected obstacles imposed by a powerful cartel and the state of Mississippi.

Principal photography on The Melony Armstrong Story is expected to begin spring 2021. Check back here for updates on the film. 

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