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CHRISTMAS DILEMMA

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TV ONE TAPS ESSENCE ATKINS FOR DIRECTORIAL DEBUT ON ORIGINAL HOLIDAY FILM CHRISTMAS DILEMMA PREMIERING ON 
SUNDAY, DECEMBER, 6 AT 7 P.M. EST / 6C
 
The New Comedy Stars BJ Britt, Brittany Hall, Carl Anthony Payne II, and Christopher B. Duncan

(SILVER SPRING, MD) – November 5, 2020 – TV One today announced  the premiere date for its new original holiday film CHRISTMAS DILEMMA is set for Sunday, December 6, 2020at 7 P.M. ET/ 6Cwith an immediate encore at 9 P.M. ET/ 8C. The film marks the first project directed by Essence Atkins and builds on the actor’s longstanding relationship with TV One. As an actor, Atkins’ TV One credits include original films such as Girlfriend’s Getaway and its sequel, along with Coins For Christmas, and Coins For Love. Filmed in Atlanta, the movie stars BJ Britt (Being Mary JaneAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Brittany Hall (BallersSatisfaction) , Carl Anthony Payne II (Martin5th Ward), and Christopher B. Duncan (Black LightningThe Jamie Foxx Show).

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to collaborate with TV One once again to direct my first movie,” remarked Atkins. “I am immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to helm a film that I can declare I’m proud of. This entire experience has taught me so much and was a true delight.” 

“This will undoubtedly be a different kind of holiday, so we thought an offbeat Christmas comedy was the perfect choice,” remarked Robyn Green Arrington, VP Programming and Production. “Additionally, having consistency behind-the-scenes during this unpredictable time was a must, so working long-time production partner, Swirl was a no-brainer. Continuing our tradition of giving deserving and prepared talent an opportunity to diversify, made the decision to have Essence Atkins at the helm of this movie easy.” 

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA follows a newlywed couple Jay (Britt) and Monica (Hall) as they struggle to decide which set of in-laws they should join for their first Christmas. After each pleads their case and even attempts a little trickery, they decide to bypass the guaranteed disappointment of picking one family over the other. Unbeknownst to them, the decision is made for them when their families show up at their home unexpectedly. Drama ensues as the in-laws clash, long-lost relatives decide to make an appearance, and Jay’s grandmother joins the holiday festivities accompanied her caretaker who just happens to be Jay’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend.

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA cast includes:        
BJ Britt as Jay       
Brittany Hall as Monica       
Carl Anthony Payne II as Eddie       
Christopher B. Duncan as Howard  

CHRISTMAS DILEMMA is produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric G. Tomosunas and COO Robert A. Boyd II, serving as Executive Producers. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serve as producers for Swirl Films. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hashtag #CHRISTMASDILEMMA.
ABOUT SWIRL FILMSSwirl Films is one of the leading independent TV & Urban Film Production companies in the country, based out of Atlanta, Georgia and founded by Eric Tomosunas in 2001. Swirls project slate includes the wildly popular original drama series, Saints & Sinners, and as well as high-quality films and series produced for TV One, BET, Bounce, Lifetime, Hallmark, Reel One, Netflix & Up TV. Swirl Films provides services and content across various areas of production spanning from script to screen, for movies, biopics, scripted series, award shows and documentaries. Purchased in 2019, Swirl Films owns and operates its own 100,000 square foot film studio in Atlanta.

ABOUT TV ONELaunched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult black viewers. The network represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Uncensored, ATL Homicide, Fatal Attraction and Urban One Honors. In addition, TV One is the cable home of original blockbuster films including When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story, Love Under New Management: The Miki Howard Story, Bobbi Kristina and The Bobby DeBarge Story. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK, www.urban1.com], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.
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Triller Launches Monthly Assembly for Black Creators

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A Virtual Event Series Built to Connect Creators with Brands

Triller, the popular global social media and music discovery platform, announced the Assembly for Black Creators, a new virtual event series beginning October 20 and running monthly through the end of 2021. The series will build to the 1st annual Black Creator Conference, which will now be held in the first half of 2022. 

The objective of Assembly for Black Creators is to empower Black creators and talent to deepen the pipeline of Black-owned content across entertainment, lifestyle, fashion, sports and other genres available to consumer brands for integration and advertising opportunities. The Assembly will bring together more than 250 Black content creators with major brands, including Popeyes and Hallmark, enabling both parties to forge relationships and create branded content.

Brand managers and content creators will meet in a virtual “Monetization Village,” working together to strategize, ideate and execute real-time social media campaigns. Through this collaboration, brands will have immediate access to bespoke integrations, new audience exposure and possibilities for future collaboration with creators.

“Building direct, equitable relationships between creator and brand is the driving force for Assembly for Black Creators,” said Bonin Bough, Triller’s Chief Growth Officer, who has led the initiative for Triller. “With our innovative ‘Monetization Village,’ Black creators will work with best-in-class brands to gain a more substantial foothold in the ever-evolving digital marketing space. We’re fostering greater racial equity across media, and by bringing together creators and advertisers in a dynamic and supportive environment we will enhance opportunities for everyone.”

“We started this effort with a deep appreciation of the huge impact Black Creators have had on culture and content around the world. With this series, we are catalyzing the need for brands, agencies and media properties to invest in Black creators and media owners,” said Mahi de Silva, CEO of TrillerNet, parent company to Triller, Verzuz, Amplify.ai and other media brands. “Events like the Assembly for Black Creators are essential for pushing important industry-wide change, as it is scalable and repeatable, deploys spend directly to individuals and brands, and helps create a thriving ecosystem of media, bolstered by education, tools and support.”

Assembly for Black Creators will take place October 20, November 10 and December 3, culminating in the Black Creator Conference in 2022. Leading Black-owned, Atlanta-based influencer house The Collab Crib is an advisor and curator. The first day-long event on October 20 will kick off with keynote addresses by music icons Timbaland and Swizz Beatz, founders of the ground-breaking Verzuz “artist battle” livestream platform, as well as remarks from celebrated rapper-singer-producer Quavo.

Assembly for Black Creators will feature breakout and training sessions for creators focused on digital design, new creator tools, augmented reality, culture marketing, virality & trends and platform partnerships and brand building.

For more information, please visit https://assemblyforblackcreators.com.

About Triller
Triller is the globally popular AI-powered social media and music discovery experience that allows users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds. Pick a song, select the portion of the song you want to use, snap a few takes and with the tap of a button you have a celebrity-quality music video starring you and your friends. Triller relies solely on organic growth and has more than 350 million downoads, with celebrities like Alicia Keys, Cardi B, Marshmello, Roddy Ricch and Eminem regularly using the app to create their own music videos. Triller is owned by TrillerNet. For more information, visit www.triller.co and follow @triller on Instagram.

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15th Annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour

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The Virtual “Gospel City Playlist” Concert Series Will Showcase Award-Winning Gospel Singers to Raise Money for Ronald McDonald House Charities®

 In honor of Gospel Music Heritage Month, which takes place annually in September, McDonald’s is serving inspiration with a side of friendly banter for music fans of all ages. Starting Sept. 19 through Oct. 10, the 15th annual McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour, a long-standing event that fosters community through the deeply rooted tradition of gospel music, will take place virtually every Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on BET Network’s YouTube channel and BET.com.

Brought to fans by McDonald’s Black & Positively Golden movement, award-winning gospel artists hailing from the Gulf Coast, West Coast, Carolinas and DMV regions will showcase their talents to spark debate on which U.S. region produces the greatest gospel hitmakers and hits. Multi-award-winning musician and syndicated radio personality Lonnie Hunter will host the four-part “Gospel City Playlist” series, featuring legendary gospel artists like Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Israel Houghton, and rising gospel artists like Mali Music and Pastor Mike Jr., among many others.

For the first time in tour history, fans can watch the show from the McDonald’s app while reppin’ their city. Ahead of each show, fans can also experience a virtual red carpet hosted by social media comedian @NotKarltonBanks who will perform lively skits, host spirited interviews with tour artists and give viewers a peek behind-the-scenes.   

“Faith and inspiration are a core part of gospel music, and an integral part of McDonald’s community-based gospel tour,” said Erica Campbell, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and 2021 McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour performer. “People need inspiration, and I am proud to join such an amazing line-up of artists to help reach gospel music lovers nationwide.”

Each year, the concert series helps raise awareness of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) and its mission of improving the health and well-being of children and their families. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, RMHC needs our support more than ever. Virtual concert goers will be able to donate to RHMC live at RMHC.org/ICGT2021.  McDonald’s has supported RMHC for more than 40 years as the founding mission partner and continues to support global Charity in a variety of ways. Since 2012, The McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration® Gospel Tour has raised over $1.08M to help families stay close when their children are ill.

“We are excited to make the tour virtual for the second year as we celebrate 15 years of the awesome McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour,” said Harry Smith, Indiana McDonald’s Owner/Operator and Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour Owner/Operator Chairman. “We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities in which we operate, and this longstanding, free celebration of gospel music is one of the many ways we want to help lift up and encourage our guests, crew members and community.”

Visit www.blackandpositivelygolden.com for streaming information and additional details. Follow @WeAreGolden on Instagram for tour updates and to join the conversation around which playlist is best using #blackandpositivelygolden.

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MMCA PARTNERS WITH STARZ™

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WASHINGTON, DC, August 17, 2021 – The Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA) is pleased to partner with STARZ to host the inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception on Thursday, August 19 from 6:00 -7:00 pm EST (3:00 -4:00 pm PST) during NABJ’s signature annual convention.  In keeping with MMCA’s other signature events including their Multicultural Media and Correspondents Dinner (MMCDTM) and inaugural Sheroes in Media Awards Gala, this reception is designed to honor Black media excellence and highlight the need for increased media diversity.  Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s gathering will again be hosted in a virtual setting.

EAX4FN PATINA MILLER US film actress in November 2014. Photo Jeffrey Mayer

This year’s honorees for the inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception include “Newsmaker” Award recipient Karine Jean-Pierre (White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary) and “Impact Journalist” Award recipient Trymaine Lee (Pulitzer Prize and Emmy Award Winning Journalist, MSNBC Columnist “Into America,” Podcast Host).

In addition to the presentation of the “Newsmaker” and “Impact Journalist” Awards, the reception will feature a moderated discussion with STARZ talent regarding the network’s #TakeTheLead initiative. 

“Partnering MMCA to honor this year’s Media Diversity Excellence Award recipients and discuss our #TakeTheLead initiative aligns with our commitment to promote representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the organization,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO of STARZ.  “Collaborations like this one are an important way for us to engage with impactful and diverse voices that are leading change.”

The conversation will be moderated by NABJ Arts & Entertainment Chair Kelley L. Carter (Host of ‘Another Act’ for ESPN’s – The Undefeated) with featured talent from several popular Starz series: Patina Miller (Raising Kanan), Hailey Kilgore (Raising Kanan), Amber Stevens West (Run The World), Corbin Reid (Run The World), Ajiona Alexus (BMF), and Michole Briana White (BMF).

The event will also incorporate a fun interactive cocktail mixing session courtesy of Beam Suntory led by Corbin Reid from STARZ hit series “Run The World,” who serves as celebrity mixologist.

“We are thrilled to partner with STARZ for this inaugural Media Diversity Excellence Awards Reception during the signature annual gathering for Black Journalist and media professionals.  MMCA’s vision to create a collective, inclusive and sustained effort to honor BIPOC media excellence and to increase diversity in media ownership and control is more critical than ever.  By joining with STARZ at the NABJ convention, we continue to raise awareness of our collective efforts and pay tribute to those who are leading the fight for media diversity,” said David Morgan, MMCA President.

MMCA’s event partners include: STARZ, NABJ, and Beam Suntory.

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