During this weekend’s Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival (MVAAFF), Netflix treated attendees to a screening of the first episode of their new limited series From Scratch, which stars Zoe Saldaña (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3). Aside from the episode, it was also revealed that we can expect the series to debut on the platform in late October. The story centers around a couple from different backgrounds that strikes up a romance in Italy and quickly becomes each other’s family.
Netflix also took the opportunity to reveal some further details of the new series, including the From Scratch poster. The art uses Sicily as a landscape to suggest a light-hearted story, with Saldaña’s character Amahle and her onscreen boyfriend Lino (Eugenio Mastrandrea) looking like they’re deeply in love in the rearview mirror of a Vezpa.
From Scratch is based on a memoir of the same name from author Tembi Locke. The writer teamed up with her sister Attica Locke in order to develop the book into a series. Back in 2019, the Shondaland website put the two siblings to interview each other and talk about the inspiration for the story. Tembi revealed:
“I was in Sicily, three summers into widowhood, and it hit me. I was seated my with young daughter and across from us my mother-in-law at the dinner table at the end of what had been like the perfect summer day. And I had a thought: How did we get here, especially given where we started AND given that the only person connecting us is gone? That question felt like the making of a book. Of course, it was another two years before I felt ready to write it. I needed to build up my bravery to tell the story. […] It’s an absolute act of bravery to say ‘I have something to say, this story matters’. Maybe more for women and perhaps more so for black women. […] So writing is fundamentally brave, memoir maybe more so in some ways.”
The sibling screenwriters penned the premiere and season finale of the limited series, while team of screenwriters Amy Wang, JJ Braider, Marguerite MacIntire, Joshua Allen, and Jason Coffey write the other six episodes. The series is directed by Nzingha Stewart (Inventing Anna) and Dennie Gordon (Jack Ryan).
Aside from Saldaña and Mastrandrea, From Scratch also stars Danielle Deadwyler (Station Eleven), Keith David (Greenleaf), Kellita Smith (Z Nation), Judith Scott (Dear White People), Lucia Sardo (Alone With Her Dreams), Paride Benassai (Baaría), and Roberta Rigano (I Know This Much is True).
Netflix premieres all eight episodes of From Scratch on October 21. You can check out the poster and synopsis below:
Inspired by the memoir, From Scratch is a cross-cultural love story that follows Amahle “Amy” Wheeler (played by Zoe Saldaña) an American student studying abroad in Italy, as she meets and falls in love with Lino, a Sicilian chef. Their whirlwind romance faces many unforeseen challenges, including their very different cultural backgrounds. But when Lino is faced with unimaginable health challenges and the couple’s future is threatened, the two families come together to create an extended family unlike any they could have imagined, proving that love crosses all borders.