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Release Date:   2017
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  84 mins.
Director:  Rhonda Baraka
Cast:  Boris Kodjoe (Michael), Nicole Ari Parker (Ebony).

Story:  Ebony and Michael were forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding after becoming teenage parents, putting their personal goals on hold in order to support their family. The two high school sweethearts manage to overcome the odds and establish a seemingly ideal life for themselves. However, the success that initially was meant to strengthen their family has become the very thing that is driving them apart. As a result, Michael desperately tries to hold onto everything he’s worked his entire life to gain. This leads the family on an unconventional adventure to restore the faith, hope, and trust that initially brought them together.  Source(s):  Shadow & Act; abff.com.

 

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When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story

a/k/a Hit A Lick

Release Date:   8/28/17 – TV One
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  84 mins.
Director:  Tasha Smith
Story Inspired by an episode of TV One’s original docu-series For My Man. Lil Mama and Lance Gross star in this tragic story of Falicia Blakely (Lil Mama), a teen mother growing 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.

Tami Roman, Floyd Mayweather, Jr., Big Freedia, and Lil Zane round out the cast of the original movie, which also marks the directing debut of actress Tasha Smith, who directed the film from a screenplay written by Cas Sigers-Beedles, who previously wrote and executive produced the TV One movies Welcome to the Family and Girlfriends Getaway 1 and 2.  Source:  Shadow & Act.

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Michael Jackson:  Searching for Neverland

Release Date:  5/29/17; Lifetime
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:   Dianne Houston
Studio:   Lifetime, Silver Screen Pictures, Lifetime Television

Cast Navi (Michael Jackson), Chad L. Coleman (Bill Whitfield), Sam Adegoke (Javon Beard), Aidan Smith (Prince Jackson), Taegen Burns (Paris Jackson), Michael Mourra (Blanket Jackson).

Story:  Based on the best-selling book, Remember the Time: Protecting Michael Jackson in His Final Days, and told through the eyes of Jackson’s trusted bodyguards, Bill Whitfield and Javon Beard. The movie will reveal firsthand the devotion Michael Jackson had to his children, and the hidden drama that took place during the last two years of his life.  Source:  Lifetime.

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Halfway

Release Date:  4/21/17; UMC
Genre:  Drama
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  103 mins.
Director:  Ben Caird

Studio:   JP International Productions, RLJ Entertainment, Urban Movie Channel (UMC).

Cast:  Marcus Henderson (Paulie), Amy Pietz (Beth), Jeffrey DeMunn (Walt), Gillian Zinser (Eliza), Quinton Aaron (Byron).

Story:  The story of a recently released convict who faces the conflict of enduring ties with his old criminal world while struggling to adapt to life on probation as the only black man in a conservative white farm town.  Source:  Official site, halfwayfilm.com.

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Madiba

mandiba-stillRelease Date:  2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/15/17; BET
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Director:  Kevin Hooks
Studio(s):   Blue Ice Pictures, Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Cast:  Laurence Fishburne (Nelson Mandela), David Harewood, Orlando Jones, Terry Pheto.

Story:  A three-part saga telling the “definitive story” of Nelson Mandela.  Madiba, based on two Mandela autobiographies, Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela by Himself, tells the most personal and comprehensive story of Mandela’s life, focusing on the man, and his innermost thoughts and fears as he fought and sacrificed for freedom to become an international icon. While many recognize Mandela as the face of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, this mini-series also pays homage to the many lesser known men and women who sacrificed and suffered alongside him in South Africa’s quest for freedom.  Along with detailing the early years of Mandela’s personal journey, Madiba also reveals the behind-the-scenes strategizing and bold organizing tactics he and his collaborators used to bring attention to their movement both domestically and internationally.  Source/Photo:  Shadow & Act.

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The New Edition Story

the-new-edition-story-stillRelease Date:  1/24/17, 1/25/17, 1/26/17; BET
Genre:  Biography
Rating:  NR
Director:  Chris Robinson
Studio(s):   Black Entertainment Television (BET), Jesse Collins Entertainment.

Cast:   Bryshere Y. Gray (Michael Bivins) Dante Hoagland (Young Michael), Elijah Kelley (Ricky Bell), Caleb McLaughlin (Young Ricky), Luke James (Johnny Gill), Algee Smith (Ralph Tresvant), Jahi Winston (Young Ralph), Keith Powers  (Ron Devoe), Myles Truitt (Young Ron), Woody McClain (Bobby Brown), Tyler Williams (Young Bobby), Anika C. McFall (Carolyn Busby), La La Anthony (Flo DeVoe), Durrell Babbs (Jheryl Busby), Raven Bowens (Teasha Bivins), Noel Braham (Ray Parker, Jr.), Bre-z ( Peanut Bell), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley Bivins), Monica Calhoun (Patricia Tresvant), Lisa Nicole Carson (Mae Bell), Chelsea Diggs-Smith (Amber Tresvant), Faizon Love (Maurice Starr).

Story:  The miniseries follows the rise and fall of the ’80s boy band (featuring Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, DeVoe, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant) that paved the way for other groups like Boyz II Men, NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block.  The group reached enormous heights in the ’80s and ’90s, but struggled to share the limelight, causing tension and deep rifts between its individual members.  Source:  ETonline.  Photo Source:  BET.

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Love By The 10th Date

love-on-the-10th-datea/k/a The 10th Date

Release Date:  1/28/17; Lifetime
Genre:  Comedy/Romance
Rating:  NR
Director:  Nzingha Stewart
Studio(s):  Silver Screen Pictures, Lifetime Television.

Cast:  Meagan Good (Gabrielle Fateful), Brandon T. Jackson (Dante), Kellee Stewart (Nell), Keri Hilson (Billie), Kelly Rowland (Margot Scotts), Andra Fuller (Chris Kellman), Cat Deeley (Maureen), Black Shakespeare (Big Stunna), Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman (Freddy Mitchell), Christian Keyes (Kevin).

Story:  Love By The 10th Date follows Gabby, Nell, Billie and Margot who balance their dating adventures alongside their career ambitions at an upscale digital magazine in Los Angeles, under the watchful eye of their editor.  Inspired by the site’s relationship advice column to find the one, Gabby and Nell embark on their own journeys towards the elusive 10th date, the dating world’s Holy Grail when it comes to commitment. Meanwhile, Billie finds herself at a major crossroads in her marriage and Margot unsuccessfully tries to fight her growing attraction to a famously controversial reggae musician she is assigned to interview. As the ladies navigate the ups and downs of modern dating, romance, exes and friendships, they learn what they really want out of life and love.  Source:  Lifetime.  Photo Source:  That Grape Juice.

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