TV One celebrates the holiday season with the premiere of the original film, DEAR SANTA, I NEED A DATE, which will air on Sunday, December 8 at 7 P.M. ET/6C, followed by an encore presentation at 9 P.M. ET/8C. The romantic comedy stars Ray J (Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Moesha), and Reagan Gomez-Preston (The Parent ‘Hood, The Cleveland Show), as two ambitious, yet romantically challenged siblings, who make a bet on who will be the first to find love by Christmas. The film follows the Vaughn family as they gather for Thanksgiving dinner. Parents, Mr. Vaughn (Jay DeVon Johnson) and Mrs. Vaughn (Anne-Marie Johnson), voice their displeasure with their children’s disastrous dating lives. Every holiday season, the Vaughn’s anxiously prepare for their children to bring home a significant other only to be disappointed. This year, The Vaughn’s apply pressure by expressing their concerns to Jason (Ray J) and Janelle (Gomez-Preston), ultimately sparking the Christmas competition. “It’s great to be part of TV One’s holiday movie DEAR SANTA, I NEED A DATE,” said leading star Ray J. “This is the perfect film for the holiday season and presented by a network that consistently supports me. I’m excited and ready to go.” Rounding out the stellar cast is singer-actor, MAJOR. (Star), Reginae Carter (Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta) and B. Simone (Wild ‘N Out, Girls Cruise). The movie is directed by Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show, Daddy’s Little Girls), who also directed TV One’s 2018 original holiday film MERRY WISHMAS. DEAR SANTA, I NEED A DATE is written by Kourtney Richard with casting provided by George Pierre. The film is produced by Swirl Films with Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, James Seppelfrick, serving as Executive Producers. Ron Robinson, James “Jimmy” Watson serve as producers. For TV One, Gold Morgan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production; Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Brigitte McCray is Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Production.
AKA Present First Virtual Fashionetta
The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age
Filmmaker, LAW Watford Acquires Film & TV Rights to MLK Biography “The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age”
Filmmaker Lawrence “LAW” Watford‘s Divine Write Pictures has optioned the film, television and digital rights to the book The Seminarian: Martin Luther King Jr. Comes of Age by Patrick Parr.
The biography, which was published by Chicago Review Press in 2018, explores the life of young Martin Luther King Jr. during his formative years as a student at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. The book made waves when it was released, particularly because of its examination of King’s romance with Betty Moitz, a white woman who was the daughter of the school dietitian and sometimes worked in the kitchen.
“I’m always attracted to stories that have incongruence as a central theme, so when I first read about Dr. King’s relationship with Betty Moitz in the press, I was intrigued—as I imagine most people probably were,” said Watford.
But the emerging writer/director wants to make it clear that his intentions for the project go far beyond the sensationalism of this one romance. “We’re always aware of the ways in which our heroes have impacted us during our formative years, but it’s rare that we get an authentic glimpse into the events and people that shaped them into these legendary people we celebrate today. We also never get an opportunity to envision them, truly and fully as human beings. So the goal is to introduce us to the variety of people that influenced MLK’s life during that time.”
Watord is planning to adapt the book for television via his Tyler Street Films partnership with Jack Manning III and Tiffany Elle Burgess; all fellow graduates of Hampton University, an Historically Black College in Virginia.
The deal was negotiated by entertainment attorney Laverne Berry Esq. on behalf of Divine Write Pictures and Susan Schulman on behalf of Patrick Parr and Chicago Review Press.
LAW, who hails from Brooklyn, New York, has gained attention for telling stories that center on complex social narratives. He was recently named one of Essence Magazine’s 7 Black Independent Filmmakers to Watch for his short film Catharsis, which was recently acquired by Revolt TV. The drama tells the story of a Black mother who confronts the District Attorney who refused to prosecute the NYPD officer responsible for her son’s death.
***links to articles about the book***
- The Washington Post: Three years that turned Martin Luther King Jr. from student to preacher
- The Wall St. Journal: ‘The Seminarian’ Review: The Man Who Would Be King
- The Atlantic: The Young Man Who Became a Civil-Rights Icon
- Politico Magazine: ‘We Were Madly, Madly in Love’: The Untold Story of MLK’s White Girlfriend
- Time.com: 6 Books to Read in Honor of the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death
- Vibe.com: New Book Details Martin Luther King Jr’s Teenage Years And His White Girlfriend
- The Root: MLK’s White Girlfriend Speaks Out After All These Years
- The Baltimore Sun: Martin Luther King’s classmate, a Baltimore pastor, recalls him as playful, intense — and brilliant
- Elite Daily: This Tiny Moment In ‘Lovecraft Country’ Is Actually A Reference To MLK’s Real Life
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