EXCLUSIVE: BET Her and Tressa Smallwood of MegaMind Media announce their partnership on four original short films from directors Meagan Good, Naturi Naughton, Tichina Arnold, and LisaRaye McCoy, among others. Smallwood serves as executive producer.
The dramas will premiere in July for Minority Mental Health Month and October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. They’ll be available under the BET HER “Her Stories” franchise—a platform to empower the next generation of Black women filmmakers through a curated selection of original movies and documentaries.
All films are written, directed, and produced by Black women who, through their stories, are bringing awareness to issues affecting the Black community like the impact of breast cancer, mental health struggles, and domestic violence.
Shooting in Prince Georges County, Maryland on Tuesday, March 15.
“Even though I’ve licensed films to BET previously, being chosen for the third year in a row to produce these crucial initiatives and expand the series with all African-American women in front of and behind the camera exclusively for BET Her is such an honor,” Smallwood said in a statement to Deadline.
Added Lorisa Bates, VP, Content Strategy, Co-Productions & Multiplatform at BET, “BET Her is dedicated to telling stories that support and celebrate Black women in front of and behind the camera as well as bringing awareness to important issues directly affecting the Black community. We are proud to be the platform for these powerful stories and the work that our female talent has put into these projects that are ever so timely. Partnering with Tressa, BET Her hopes to educate and empower our audience by continuing to provide a platform for women filmmakers who are trailblazers in the industry.”
Programming details can be found below.
The third season of The Couch features two new short films about black women battling mental issues and follows their journey as they navigate through the ups and downs of dealing with their diagnosis.
Meagan Good directs the original film scripted by Ariel Driskell Thin, Like Me! which centers on a fitness model’s unhealthy relationship with food and body issues and comes to a head with her mother during the planning of her parents’ 40th wedding anniversary.
Behind The Smile!, directed by Naturi Naughton and written by Lori Conway Ray, focuses on a newly promoted anchorwoman falls who into a severe depression when she is forced to choose between her dream job and her Vitiligo support group.
The fourth season of The Waiting Room features two new short films about black women battling breast cancer and following their journey of dealing with their diagnosis.
Co-written by Maggy Francois and Maimah Karmo, Tichina Arnold is set to direct Oh Baby Baby! which focuses on a high fashion entrepreneur trying to conceive a child when she is blindsided by developing breast cancer from IVF estrogen treatment.
The Pink Fight, written by K. Senay, will be directed by LisaRaye McCoy and revolves around a female boxer who is diagnosed with breast cancer and follows her battle as she and her wife fight for survival both in and out of the ring.
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