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First Look Images from ‘Open’ featuring Essence Atkins, Keith Robinson and Matt Cedeño [PHOTOS]

BET, Nina Holiday Entertainment and Class and Sass Promotions have released exclusive first look images from their upcoming romantic drama Open. It premieres on Saturday, March 14 at 8 p.m. on BET and BETHER. 

Open, explores the complications of the open marriage of Cameron (Keith Robinson, “Saints & Sinners,” “Dreamgirls”) and Wren (Essence Atkins, “Ambitions,” “Marlon”), who have been married for eight years, although, the last two years of their matrimony have been open. They set rules as boundaries to assure a healthy open relationship, however they quickly learn that rules applied to the art of emotion will often be broken. 

Open also stars iconic TV, film and stage actress Jasmine Guy (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Quad,” “A Different World”), Matt Cedeño (“Power,” “Ambitions”) and Marquita Goings (“American Soul,” “Tales”).  It is written and directed by Cas Sigers-Beedles and produced by Nina Holiday Entertainment and Class and Sass Promotions. 

“I’m so honored that my directorial feature has been a story about love, forgiveness and communication,” said Sigers-Beedles in a statement. “The gems about honesty within this story are much needed today, as marriage and love expectations climb higher than what we can often achieve. I was very blessed to work with amazing actors, Essence Atkins, Keith Robinson and Matt Cedeño whose performances made the joys and pains of love so truthful and relatable. It was produced by four women of color, and that in itself has really made this a special project.” 

Open is Sigers-Beedles third television project with BET. She was the writer for the network’s recent romantic comedy Angrily Ever After starring Jasmine Burke as well as the holiday comedy T’was the Chaos Before Christmas starring Sherri Shepherd. T’was is also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture (Television).  

Beedles is also one of the masterminds behind the Reel Divas Initiative along with Terri J. Vaughn and Ty Johnston-Chavis. It is a collective of African American female directors and producers who advocate for women of color in the television and film industry and was featured on deadline.com and blackenterprise.com 

Check out the exclusive images below: 

PHOTO CREDITS: Nina Holiday Entertainment

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UPFRONT’s BTS Coverage of ‘The Reel Divas’ Photo Shoot (VIDEO)

Check out my behind-the-scenes UPFRONT coverage of #TheReelDivas photo shoot that was featured on DEADLINE.COM this week. The glossy image has generated a lot of buzz on social media and includes 20 of Georgia’s most prominent black women filmmakers, producers, directors, content creators and actresses.

The event was conceived by writer, producer and filmmaker Cas Sigers-Beedles (BET’s Angrily Ever After and TV One’s When Love Kills) and was inspired by the star-studded photo shoots in Vanity Fair’s annual “Hollywood Issue.” She along with producer extraordinaire Ty Johnston-Chavis (Atlanta Pitch Summit) reached out to women like actress and director Jasmine Guy (A Different World, Grey Anatomy), director and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper (Versailles ’73) and producer Dianne Ashford (Ambitions).

The event took place on a Sunday morning in September at Atlanta’s Goat Farm Arts Center and was photographed by Donna Permell.

Other #ReelDivas members include: Terri J. Vaughn (Actress + Director + Producer), Rhonda Baraka (Writer +Director), Denise Hendricks (Producer), Gieva Stinchcomb (Producer), Star Smith (Line Producer), Wanda Shelly (Executive Producer), Autumn Bailey Ford (Producer), Angi Bones (Executive Producer + Director), Samantha Ramirez-Herrera (Content Creator), Tammy Garnes (Producer + Actress), Wendy Eley Jackson (Writer + Producer), Angela Barnes Gomes (Writer + Director), Tamra Simmons (Executive Producer), Shante Paige (Producer), Lisa “Captain” Cunningham (Writer + Producer + Director).

PHOTO CREDITS: Donna Permell + RayCornelius.com

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‘When Love Kills’ makes TV ONE history as #1 film premiere

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

Hats off to the cast and crew of TV One’s original movie, “When Love Kills!”  The film’s premiere on last Monday (August 28), brought in 1.2 million unique viewers (1.6 million unique viewers for the night) and now ranks as TVOne’s #1 original movie premiere of all time.

TV One was #2 in Ad Supported Cable among African Americans across all key demos and was a top 10 cable network among Total W18-49 (#5) and Total W25-54 (#8) in the Monday 9p-11p time slot.

Additionally #WhenLoveKills began trending on Twitter during the film premiere, starting at #6 nationally and reaching #1 nationally. The hashtag remained in the Top 10 for 7.5 hours until 4am ET. The show ranked #2 on the Nielsen Social Daily Top Five list with 54,000 unique Facebook and Twitter posts, generating 117,000 interactions.

“When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story” is written by industry veteran Cas Sigers-Beedles and directed by Tasha Smith. The film is produced for TVOne by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal and James Seppelfrick of Swirl Films. For TV One, Tia A. Smith is Sr. Director of Original Programming & Production and Executive in Charge of Production; Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting; Robyn Greene-Arrington is VP of Original Programming, and D’Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programming and Production.

Photo Credit: TV One

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Terri J. Vaughn + Cas Sigers-Beedles host ‘When Love Kills’ Atlanta Viewing Party [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure of attending a private viewing party for TV One’s original movie, “When Love Kills” Monday night at Atlanta’s League Tavern (formerly T.I.‘s Scales 925 restaurant). The event was hosted by the film’s writer and executive producer Cas Sigers-Beedles along with her Nina Holiday Entertainment business partner and actress Terri J. Vaughn.

“When Love Kills” tells the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Niatia “Lil’ Mama” Kirkland), a teen mom turned exotic dancer who attracted the attention of a local pimp and predator named Big Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turned Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games and she was forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. The project was directed by “Empire” actress Tasha Smith and also starred Tami Roman, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, Tiffany Black and Lil’ Zane.

It took Sigers-Beedles over a decade to bring this story to light. However, seeing the actors on the set last November made her realize it was worth the wait.  “When I was on set and saw Lil’ Mama’s magic and Tasha’s magic and Lance’s magic, I realized I was just 10 years ahead! This truly was Tasha’s movie to make and it was Niatia’s role to play. Everything is always in its timing and I am just so happy to tell this story.”

Siger-Beedles first became acquainted with Blakely’s tragic story through a Creative Loafing article. So she reached out to Blakely’s attorney and talked to her about the case and was taken aback at how much she loved this man and how she didn’t see fault in him. She later shared the story with Vaughn and the two eventually took it to TV One.

Blakely was a teenager when her life was transformed by Big Dino and is still serving time for the murders she committed. She is now in her 30s and mentors young girls through the prison system.

Atlanta notables in attendance included “Greenleaf” actors Lamman Rucker and T.C. Carson, singer-songwriter B. Slade, actresses Brittany Inge and Naomi Lavette, British actor Zimzon Lelo, Tiphanie Watson from the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment +  book author and motivational speaker Lakara Foster.

Check out more photos below:

T.C. Carson 

Naomi Lavette + Alan Favors 

Terri J. Vaughn + Cas Sigers-Beedles + Zimzon Lelo

Tiphanie Watson + guest

Will Goldsborough + Crystal 

Brittany Inge

T.C. Carson B. Slade + Lamman Rucker 

Lakara Foster + guest

That’s all folks!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Cast of TV One’s ‘When Love Kills’ attends ATL Premiere [PHOTOS]

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One hosted a very special advanced screening this week for its upcoming original movie, “When Love Kills” and #UPFRONT was there to capture all of the sights and sounds. The red carpet premiere took place at Atlantic Station’s Regal Cinema Theaters and was attended by the film’s cast and crew as well as Atlanta celebrities, influencers and contest winners.

Originally titled “Hit a Lick,”  “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story” is inspired by an episode of TV One’s original series “For My Man,” and tell the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Niatia “Lil’ Mama” Kirkland), a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Big Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. “When Love Kills” also stars Tami Roman, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, Tiffany Black and Lil Zane.

The film marks the directing debut of acclaimed actress Tasha Smith and was written and executive produced by Cas Sigers-Beedles. “I have so much compassion for this girl,” said Smith to RC in November 2016.  “To be able to work with a talent such as Lil Mama and help bring this story to life in a way that is full of compassion and passion without any judgement is a blessing.”

Celebrities in attendance included: Ferrari, Trina Braxton, Terri J. Vaughn, Pastor Troy, Irv Gotti, Blue Kimble, Cocoa Brown, Dawn Halfkenny, Demetria McKinney, Willie Moore Jr., LeLee Lyons, Nicci Gilbert, Gary Wit Tha Tea, Roger M. Bobb and the hosts of TV One’s new talk show, “Sister Circle“—Syleena Johnson, Rashana Ali, Kiana Dancie, Quad Webb-Lunceford and Funkie Dineva.

The event also featured a sneak peek of TV One’s other new original movie, “Bobbi Kristina” starring Demetria McKinney, Hassan Johnson, Vivica A. Fox and Joy Rovaris as Bobbi Kristina.  Check out more red carpet photos below:

Lance Gross + Roger M. Bobb 

Cocoa Brown 

Blue Kimble 
Tami Roman talking to #UPFRONT

Cornbread 

Terri J. Vaughn 

Irv Gotti 

Trina Braxton 

“Sister Circle” hosts: Funky Dineva, Rashan Ali, Kiana Dancie,

Quad Webb-Lunceford and Syleena Johnson 

Demetria McKinney

Lil Zane

“When Love Kills” cast with #SavingOurDaughters  

Willie Moore Jr. 

When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story airs on
Monday, Aug. 28 at 9 p.m. EST
Photo Credits: Marcus Ingram/TV One and RayCornelius.com
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UPDATE: ‘When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story’ to air Labor Day

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

TV One’s original movie, “When Love Kills : The Falicia Blakely Story” is set to air on Labor Day. The network announced the big news during their recent 2017 Upfront Presentation.

Originally titled, “Hit a Lick,” “When Love Kills” is inspired by an episode of TV One’s original series “For My Man,” and tell the tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Lil Mama), a teen mom who grows up in the fast-lane. When she becomes an exotic dancer, she attracts the attention of local pimp and predator, Dino (Lance Gross). His empty promises of a life together turn Falicia into a pawn in his dangerous games; and she’s forced to prove her love for him at the expense of innocent lives. “When Love Kills” also stars Tami Roman, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, Tiffany Black and Lil Zane.

As previously reported, “When Love Kills” marks the directing debut of acclaimed actress Tasha Smith and was written and executive produced by Cas Sigers-Beedles, who previously wrote and executive produced the TV One movies “Welcome to the Family” and “Girlfriends Getaway 1 & 2.”

“I have so much compassion for this girl,” said Smith to RC in November 2016.  “To be able to work with a talent such as Lil Mama and help bring this story to life in a way that is full of compassion and passion without any judgement is a blessing.”

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: TV One

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Suzanne dePasse, Brely Evans and more honored at BLFF’s ‘Women Superstars’ Luncheon [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

The BronzeLens Film Festival hosted its 6th Annual Women Superstars Luncheon Friday afternoon at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The star-studded event, which was sponsored by Macy’s, is the most sought after ticket of the festival.

This year’s ceremony recognized the talent of rising actress Brely Evans (Being Mary Jane, Shame) as well as award-winning TV/film executive Shelby Stone (Bessie) and actress/producer Terri J. Vaughn (Girlfriends Getaway). The most anticipated honoree was legendary Motown music, television and film executive Suzanne dePasse, who recieved the Legendary Behind the Lens Award. BronzeLens Executive Producer Kathleen Bertrand also received an award for her 32 years of service as the Sr. VP of Community and Governmental Affairs at Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB).

Shelby Anthony and Karyn

Honoree Shelby Stone with Anthony Williams and Karyn Parsons

Ms. DePasse also participated in a special conversation about her illustrious career with Atlanta media personality Karyn Greer. During the “fireside” chat, Ms. DePasse recounted how she discovered The Jackson Five as well as the making of Lady Sings the Blues, in which she received an Academy Awards nomination as the film’s co-writer. She also announced that she was working on a remake of Mahogany as well as the film adaptation of Star Jones’ book, Satan’s Sisters.  Follwing the conversation was a musical tribute to Ms. DePasse by Atlanta’s own Collective Group, who performed a number of Motown hits from The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5.

DePasse and King Family

DePasse with Dexter King and his wife Leah Webber

There were also a number of other celebrities spotted throughout the event including Tasha Smith (Empire, Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse), Cocoa Brown (Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, American Crime Story), Cas Sigers Beedles (filmmaker/Girlfriends Getaway I & II), Xernona Clayton (The Trumpet AwardsDrexina Nelson (Celebrity Photographer), Anthony Williams (Fashion Designer), Cocoa Brown (Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse, American Crime Story) and Karyn Parsons (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). The luncheon was hosted by comedian, actress and radio personality Myra J.

Check out more photos below:

DSC_0003

Cocoa Brown

Tahsa and Brely making faces

Tasha Smith and Brely Evans acting up

Terri and Kayron

Terri J. Vaughn with husband Karon Riley

Drexina Nelson Valerie with William Mickey

Drexina Nelson/ Valerie Benning Barney with William Mickey Stevenson

Bertrand

Kathleen Bertrand

Tasha Smith and Roger Bobb

Tasha Smith with Roger M. Bobb

Charmain Ward and friends

Charmain Ward (Center) with Kimberly Joseph and Michelle Falconer

Theo Tyson

Theo Tyson and friend

DePasse being interviewed

Suzanne dePasse being interviewed by BronzeLens Film Festival

Brely Accepting her award

Brely Evans accepting her award

An Emotional Terri

A very emotional Terri J. Vaughn accepting her award

Judge and Shelby

Shelby Stone receiving her award from Judge Glenda Hatchett

DePasse accepting her award

Suzanne dePasse receiving her award

Bobb and DePasse

Suzanne dePasse and Roger M. Bobb

Talk back

Suzanne dePasse talking to Karyn Greer about her career at Motown

Myra J and Imara

Imara Canady with Myra J.

Collective Soul

The Collective performing Motown hits

Everyone

Honorees and BLFF Staff and Board Members

Princess Films

Filmmaker Princess Monique and friend

Myra J DePasse and Vaughn

Myra J. with honorees Suzanne dePasse and Terri J. Vaughn

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Will Packer hopes audiences will view ‘The Wedding Ringer’ as a ‘good’ film [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Tuesday evening, film producer extraordinaire Will “Power” Packer and comedic actor Affion Crockett hosted an exclusive Atlanta screening of their upcoming romantic comedy, “The Wedding Ringer.” The premiere took place at the Regal Atlantic Station and was followed by a 45-minute post film Q&A with Atlanta press at STRIPE Restaurant and Bar. Celebrities in attendance included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Bobby V, Terri J. Vaughn, RL (Next), and Shanti Das, just to name a few.

“The Wedding Ringer” stars funnyman Kevin Hart as Jimmy aka Bic Mitchum – a witty, smooth talking guy who makes a living as a best man for hire. He, along with his no-nonsense assistant (Jenifer Lewis), must pull off the perfect wedding for Doug Harris (Josh Gad), a socially challenged guy who has no best man or groomsmen and is less than two weeks away from marrying the girl of this dreams (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting). Trouble ensues for the two when Jimmy enlists a motley crew of groomsman who must also fool Harris’ soon-to-be bride and prudish in-laws.

Will Packer

The film, which was conceived, written and directed by Jeremy Garelick of Hangover fame, has already been criticized and compared to Will Smith’s “Hitch.” However, Packer declares that Ringer’s story line is completely different from the 2005 film and was originally intended for two white actors and not a white and black actor.

“The ‘Hitch’ comparisons actually didn’t come out until people started seeing commercials for the film. This originally wasn’t a ‘salt and pepper’ film as they say in Hollywood.  It wasn’t about a black dude and a white dude. It also wasn’t so much about one character teaching another character how to be cool as much as much as it was about helping him get through his wedding,” says Packer. “You hired me and I’m going to create you a fake world—that’s the premise. Once the marketing came out then people were like, ‘Look at Kevin Hart!’ ‘Look at the black dude and the chunky white boy.’ That’s when we starting hearing the comparison because it wasn’t even in the DNA of the movie.”

Affion and Will 1

Packer also expressed his concern that audiences will try to put the Ringer in a box and explains how that way of thinking creates problems for him as a producer and for the actors like Crockett seeking to gain more work. Rather than seeing the film as ‘Black’ or ‘White,’ see it as just a ‘film.’

“I have tried as a filmmaker to make good content that just so happens to have African-Americans in it and content that didn’t necessarily have to have all Black people in them. I personally feel that if you look at ‘Think Like a Man’ or ‘Think Like a Man Too’ you can easily make those films with an all-white cast,” says Packer.  “It will be interesting to see how people categorize ‘The Wedding Ringer.’ One of the things I’ve heard some people say, ‘Oh this is Kevin Hart trying to be crossover in this white movie’ and I feel like that way of thinking limits us.  That means if Kevin is in a movie and it’s not all black people then he’s trying to do something that ain’t real or something that shouldn’t be seen or something that’s not him?  Why can’t we have this movie with Kevin, with Affion, with Cory Holcomb in it and it be a movie that wasn’t written with them in mind? Why can’t we make that movie as well?

Packer further explains, “As a producer, I am always working against these labels and the boxes that we’re put in. But the people who can really bust those labels and boxes wide open are the audiences. They’re the ones that can come out of the theaters saying, ‘Man that shit was funny! I don’t care who was in it, I just know if was funny. That was a good movie.’”

“The Wedding Ringer” opens nationwide on this Friday, January 16.

Check out photos below from the premiere as well as the hilarious trailer:

Will and Heather Packer

 Will Packer with fiancée Heather Hayslett

Will, Mayor Reed and Affion

 Will Packer and Affion Crockett with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Cas, Terri J. Vaughn, Heather Packer and Stacii Jae Johnson

 Ladies Night Out – Heather Hayslett with Cas Sigers-Beedles, Terri J. Vaughn and Stacii Jae Johnson

Affion and Will 2

Will Packer and Affion  Crockett addressing the attendees before the film

Kwanza Hall and Will Packer

After the film Will Packer took pictures with Atlanta influencers including Atlanta City Council’s Kwanza Hall

Affion and Bobby V

Affion Crockett with R&B singer Bobby V

Shanti Das

Will Packer getting a hug of support from hip-hop executive Shanti Das

Jonathan Williams and Affion

Affion Crockett with ComedyHype.com’s Jonathan Williams

Will Greeting ATL Press

Will Packer greeting Atlanta press during post Q&A Dinner

[youtube id=”_OoPOkYd2JE” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Terri J. Vaughn & Cas Sigers-Beedles call ‘Girlfriends Getaway’ a purposeful film

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

TVOne is ending the last weekend of the summer with the network premiere of an original TV movie titled, Girlfriends Getaway. The two-hour dramedy stars the beautiful and talented Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins as four longtime girlfriends whose birthday trip to the Caribbean turns into a life changing adventure. The hilarious story was written by Atlanta’s own Cas Sigers-Beedles and is a co-production between her and Vaughn’s Nina Holiday Entertainment and Bobbcat Films.

For Sigers-Beedles, writing the script was a nostalgic moment that reminded her of her own the real-life capers. It was also an opportunity for her to produce a “broad” comedy featuring characters, which just so happen to be African-American women.

“I wanted to write a movie about what it would be like now if my girlfriends and I took a trip considering we are older and have more issues to discuss.  Some of us have kids and are mothers and wives while some of us are still single or divorced. That was the genesis of the film,” says Sigers-Beedles.  “Secondly, I wanted to do a broad comedy with females that wasn’t necessarily a Black or African-American story but just a story about four women. Terry and I refer to ‘Girlfriends Getaway’ as ‘Waiting to Exhale’ meets ‘The Hangover’ because it is about four Black women that just so happen to experience a lot of chaos while on vacation.”

Vaughn, who also serves as one of the film’s producers, says making the movie with her real-life on-screen friends proved to be “therapeutic and purposeful.”

“There were so many beautiful moments that happened on this film. It’s was a very spiritual experience for all of us. It felt very purposeful and there was a reason it was the four of us that were chosen to work together and bring these characters to life,”  says Vaughn.  “This movie happened at time that all of us needed it for some particular reason or another. We needed this ‘sisterhood’ type-of-film for reasons that we probably didn’t realize and still don’t understand till this day. To get that out of going to work for any actress is a huge blessing.”

In celebration of tonight’s premiere, Vaughn is encouraging all women viewers to watch the film with their girlfriends.  She will also be tweeting and would like for fans to tweet back and post pictures as well.

Girlfriends Getaway  airs tonight on TVOne at 8 p.m. EST

Check out the movie trailer below:

[youtube id=”8AnWegX-sEs” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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SNEAK PEEK of TV One’s ‘Girlfriends’ Getaway’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

TV One is gearing up this holiday weekend for the premiere of the original movie, Girlfriends’ Getaway  starring Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins. 

The hilarious chick flick centers around Vicky (Beauvais), a newly single entrepreneur who invites her best girlfriends on a vacation to Trinidad. The ladies are enjoying a wild first night when the very pregnant Sophie (Vaughn), gets kidnapped and is held for $10,000 ransom. The remaining women must come together to free her in 24 hours or end up in jail.

Girlfriends’ Getaway  was written by Cas Sigers-Beedles and is directed and executive produced by Roger Bobb. It is also a collaborative effort between Roger’s Bobbcat Films, Siger and Vaughn’s Nina Holiday Entertainment.

Check out the trailer below:

[youtube id=”8AnWegX-sEs” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Girlfriends’ Getaway  debuts on Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m. on TV One.

Photo Credit: okmagazine.com

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Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn and more to star in ‘Girlfriends Getaway’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

The Wrap is reporting that actresses Garcelle Beauvais, Terri J. Vaughn, Malinda Williams and Essence Atkins are teaming up for new original movie for TV One titled, Girlfriends Getaway.

The story centers around Vicky (Beauvais), a newly single entrepreneur who invites her best girlfriends on a vacation to Trinidad. The ladies are enjoying a wild first night when the very pregnant Sophie, (Vaughn) gets kidnapped and is held for $10,000 ransom. The remaining women must come together to free her in 24 hours or end up in jail.

The film was written by Cas Sigers-Beedles and is directed and executive produced by Roger Bobb. It is also a collaborative effort between Roger’s Bobbcat Films, Siger and Vaughn’s Nina Holiday Entertainment.

“As summer winds down this Labor Day weekend, we are excited to bring this hilarious and fun film to our audience to serve as a reminder to appreciate our friendships every day,” said TV One’s programming and production senior vice president D’Angela Proctor in a statement.

Girlfriends Getaway  premieres on Saturday, August 30 at 8 p.m. on TV One.

Photo Credit: TheWrap.com

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African American Film Critics Association salutes filmmaker Roger M. Bobb [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Noted filmmaker Roger Bobb was honored Tuesday night by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) at a special reception in Buckhead-Atlanta.

The Los Angeles-based organization, founded by journalist Gil Robertson, recognized Bobb with this year’s Synergy Award for his pioneering efforts to advance the cinema community in Atlanta. The one-time executive vice president for Tyler Perry Studios and owner of Bobbcat Films has been responsible for producing a host of award-winning films and television programs for TV One and UPtv.

Chelsye Burrows, Brad Siegel and Kathleen Bertrand

 (UPtv’s Chelsye Burrows, Brad Siegel and BronzeLens Film Festival’s Kathleen Bertrand)

Many of Bobb’s closest friends and colleagues were in attendance including last year’s Synergy Award recipient, Terrell Whitley; Vice Chairman of UPtv, Brad Siegel and founder of the BronzeLens Film Festival, Kathleen Bertrand.

Also present was actress and producer Terri J. Vaughn, Atlanta tastemakers Evelyn Mims and JaQuitta Williams, filmmakers Deborah Riley Draper and Cas Sigers-Beedles and Sheryl Gripper, Director of the Black Woman Film Preservation Project.

Terri J. Vaughn, Brad Siegel and Cas Sigers-Beedles

 (Actress Terri J. Vaughn, UPtv’s Brad Siegel and filmmaker Cas Sigers-Beedles)

In addition to being recognized by AAFCA, Bobb was also given the Phoenix Award.  It is Atlanta’s highest and most coveted honor and was presented by LaRonda Sutton, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Entertainment.

Gil Robertson, Roger Bobb and Terrell Whitley

 (AAFCA’s Gil Robertson, Roger Bobb and Terrell Whitley)

During his remarks, Bobb credited filmmaker Spike Lee for influencing his career and said his success was a direct result of his “faith, passion and life-long desire to promote positive images of African Americans.”

Check out a few more photos below:

Ed Adams and Katrina Curtis

(Creative Loafing’s Ed Adams and Katrina Curtis from TMarie Radio Show)

Deborah Riley-Draper, Asante Bradford, Gil Robertson and Kelley Jackson

(Deborah Riley Draper, Asante Bradford, Gil Robertson and Kelley Jackson)

Sheryl Gripper, Evelyn Mims, Roger Bobb, and Kathleen Bertrand

(Sheryl Gripper, Evelyn Mims, Roger Bobb and Kathleen Bertrand)

Roger Bobb and his brother

 (Roger Bobb watching his brother during video tribute)

Morris Baxter and Roger Bobb

 (Jazz 91.9 radio host Morris Baxter with Roger Bobb)

Photo Credits: Megan Alodie for RayCornelius.com