Kelly Marie Tran to Star in, Produce Biopic on Activist Amanda Nguyen (Exclusive)

Nguyen's civil rights nonprofit Rise helped champion a U.N. resolution addressing justice for sexual violence survivors, which the general assembly adopted earlier this month.

Kelly Marie Tran is developing a biopic about one of her close friends, the civil rights activist Amanda Nguyen, alongside Significant Productions and Madica Productions.

The Star Wars and Raya and the Last Dragon actor is attached to star as Nguyen in a feature that would depict her transformation from a survivor of college sexual assault to an activist for survivors’ rights, including penning a Survivors’ Bill of Rights (which inspired the federal law passed in 2016) and founding the civil rights accelerator Rise. Earlier this month, Nguyen was present at the United Nations session where the general assembly adopted a resolution to address justice for sexual violence survivors, which Rise helped to champion.

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“Over the years, Amanda’s activism has changed the lives of billions, as she continues to make our world safer for sexual assault survivors everywhere,” Tran said in a statement. “Her courage inspires me every day, and I am honored to help tell her story.”

Tang Yi, who won the Palme d’Or for best short film at Cannes last year (All the Crows in the World), is in talks to write and direct the project, which is in the early development stages. Significant’s Nina Yang Bongiovi, Madica’s Jeff Tahler and Nguyen are set to produce, while Tran will produce via Antigravity Academy, her shared banner with Raya director Carlos López Estrada. Significant’s Forest Whitaker and Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis’ Shawn Sachs will executive produce. Madica was founded to help SSM&L clients produce content, and Nguyen has worked with both for more than seven years.

“I am deeply grateful to Kelly Marie Tran, Madica Productions and Significant Productions for telling not only my story, but also the story of billions of survivors across the world who are fighting to have our voices heard and our rights recognized,” Nguyen said in a statement. “Stories are how we tell ourselves dreams are possible. Societal stigma silences rape survivors. My story is not mine alone. I hear from countless survivors the strength they gain from hearing other survivors share their story. My hope is that this will make them feel less alone. I am grateful to Kelly for her friendship, for her understanding of our shared Vietnamese American heritage and for her belief that this is a story worth telling.

Tran is represented by M88, CAA and Goodman Genow. Madica and Significant are both represented by WME. Tang is repped by M88 and WME.

Sept. 20, 9:26 a.m. Clarified relationship between Madica Productions and SSM&L, and switched to Tang Yi’s preferred ordering of her name.