2011 Winner “Raising Izzie” to Premieres on Closing Night at ABFF Before its Exclusive World Television Premiere on GMC Friday, July 21
ATLANTA, May 2012 – GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting music and family entertainment, announced today the three finalists in the 2012 GMC Faith and Family Screenplay Competition. In the Meantime by Nzinga Kadalie Kemp, The Substance of Things Hoped For by Marc A. Cunningham and Kissed by the Sun by Ronice Johnson will each vie for the grand prize of $5,000. The contest, promoting the development of faith and family-friendly entertainment screenplays is a component of GMC’s “Official Sponsorship” of Film Life’s 16th annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), which will be held June 20 – 23 in Miami.
In its second year, the 2012 competition generated 148 entries, up from 131 in 2011. Judging the three finalists will be Rhonda Baraka (writer, Trinity Goodheart and Pastor Brown); Roger M. Bobb, (For Colored Girls, “House of Payne”), Bobbcat Films and producer/director of Raising Izzie; and DeVon Franklin, vice president of production for Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
The three finalists will have portions of their screenplay performed as “tablereads” at the festival by well-known actors and in front of a live audience of festival attendees and industry tastemakers. A grand prize winner will be announced at the festival.
“We are pleased to continue to build our partnership with ABFF encouraging the African American creative community to come to us with natural stories that intrinsically incorporate faith and family friendly elements, and speak to broad audiences,” said Brad Siegel, vice chairman, GMC. “The interest level and quality of submissions over the competition’s first two years, along with the reinforcement that GMC is the right home for these types of stories, is exactly what we hoped to achieve by creating this opportunity.”
The three 2012 finalists are:
In the Meantime
by Nzinga Kadalie Kemp of Los Angeles, California
A bride-to-be gives her fiancé “creative” freedom before their wedding day, but ends up finding faith and the meaning of true love in the meantime. Jazmin “Jazz” Welles and her fiancé “Blac” are taking a non-traditional approach to their nuptials. They’ve agreed to take nine months off to discover themselves and if it is indeed true love, they’ll show up on the wedding day, no questions asked.
The Substance of Things Hoped For
by Marc A. Cunningham of North Hollywood, California
After a tremendous number of setbacks, Lacy Scott decides to leave home to pursue his dream of being a lawyer. As he tugs along on his journey with just hope and a dream, he finds out anything is possible when you have faith.
Kissed by the Sun
by Ronice Johnson of Charlotte, North Carolina
Life was comfortable for Summer, a graceful, stylish and popular young girl living in Harlem, NY with her mom. Upon deciding to spend the summer with dad in Burlington, Vermont, Summer is enrolled in a camp that exposes her to new kids and an unexpected experience – racial bullying. Summer has to decide whether to ignore the problem or expose it.
The 2011 winner of the GMC Faith and Family Screenplay Competition, Raising Izzie, was filmed as a GMC World Premiere Movie earlier this year and will close out ABFF on Saturday, June 23, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. GMC’S World Premiere Movie Raising Izzie stars Daytime Emmy© nominee and NAACP Image Award© winner Vanessa Williams (“Lincoln Heights,” “Soul Food”), Rockmond Dunbar (“Soul Food”), Kyla Kenedy (Three Stooges, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”) and Victoria Staley (“My Parents, My Sister and Me”, “Surface”). Directed by Roger M. Bobb (For Colored Girls, “House of Payne”), the film is based on the winning screenplay submitted by David Martyn Conley. Raising Izzie will have its world television premiere exclusively on GMC at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 21 with encore broadcasts at 7 and 9 p.m.
The 2011 second runner-up, “Somebody’s Child” written by Siddeeqah Powell will begin production in the summer and will premiere on GMC later in the year.
About GMC TV
GMC (www.watchGMCtv.com) is America’s favorite television channel for uplifting music and family entertainment. The Parents Television CouncilTM has twice awarded its Entertainment Seal of ApprovalTM to GMC for being “an authentic family-friendly cable network.” GMC is the only television network brand to be so honored. GMC can be seen in more than 51 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DISH Network on channel 188, DIRECTV on channel 338 and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.
Established in 1997, the core mission of the ABFF is to promote cultural diversity within the motion picture industry. Through its film showcases and special contests, it annually introduces the top echelon of emerging artists to the film and television industry. The ABFF is a property of Film Life, Inc., a New York-based event marketing, and production and film distribution company founded in 2000 by Jeff Friday (CEO).
Chelsye J. Burrows