Mike Miller and Jeff Nelson
March 13, 2018 03:08 PM

The Material Girl is getting back in the director’s chair.

Madonna is directing a new feature film titled Taking Flight, which is based on the life of famed ballerina Michaela DePrince, a rep for the performer confirmed to PEOPLE.

“Michaela’s journey resonated with me deeply as both an artist and an activist who understands adversity,” the singer said in a statement. “We have a unique opportunity to shed light on Sierra Leone and let Michaela be the voice for all the orphaned children she grew up beside. I am honored to bring her story to life.”

Michaela DePrince
Herman Verwey/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images

The story will follow the dancer’s incredible journey from being orphaned as a child in war-torn Sierra Leone to becoming a world famous ballerina. DePrince, who recently appeared in a video for Beyoncé’s hit “Lemonade,” is currently a soloist at the Dutch National Ballet.

Madonna has a long history with Africa, as she adopted four of her six children from Malawi: David Banda, 12, Mercy James, 11, and 6-year-old twins Stella and Estere, whom she brought home last February. (The Grammy winner is also mom to Lourdes Leon, 21, and Rocco Ritchie, 17).

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She’s also been involved with charity work in the region for years. In January, the pop icon announced that her philanthropic foundation, Raising Malawi, will build four new schools in the southeast African country, where the organization has already built 10 schools. And last July, Madonna opened the nation’s first children’s hospital, the Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care.

Taking Flight will be adapted by Fresh Off the Boat writer Camilla Blackett from DePrince and Elaine DePrince’s memoir Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina.

This will be Madonna’s third project as a director after helming the 2008 comedy Filth and Wisdom and 2011’s W.E. She also cowrote both movies.

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