*In 2015 an unknown girl used Twitter to tell the story of a crazy weekend she had with a random gal she just met. Her name is Aziah King but most know her as Zola!
What was just her venting turned into a viral Twitter thread. Even celebrities like Ava DuVernay reacted to the thread, saying “she can write! There’s so much untapped talent in the hood.”
The thread was its own version of a short story with all of the elements needed for an entertaining and attention-grabbing story. “Zola” writers Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris also came across this story and knew it had to be turned into a visual art form. They tapped into Zola’s writing talent and brought this story to life.
“I felt it was very cinematic. On the initial read I thought, wow this is an outline to a screenplay,” said Bravo. “We don’t want to invent anything, we want to tease what might have been happening in the moments in between each tweet,” said Harris. The way Zola wrote her thread, Bravo and Harris were so impressed that they didn’t want to take away from her work.
Zola was using Twitter as an outlet and in the beginning, and had no intention to entertain people. “I was just trying to find someone who maybe had an experience like this. I was just having tea time with my girls. When each individual tweet started to go viral on its own. It kind of gave me a live audience and it made me want to keep going,” said Zola. So she gave the people what they wanted!
If you are not familiar with this story – Zola was an exotic dancer from Detroit who met a girl at her day job and they hit it off. The girl, who is referred to as Stephanie in the film, invites Zola to Florida with her to dance and make extra money. But the money wasn’t the only thing that was extra…The story is filled with sex, drugs, crime, and more!
See King’s words come to life when “Zola” hits theaters on June 30th.