TV One Announces Third Annual American Black Film Festival & TVOne Screenplay Competition Finalists

by James Hill

April 10, 2017

TV One, the network dedicated to representing Black culture and entertainment past, present and future, announced today the 2017 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) TV One Screenplay Competition finalists – Timothy Folsome (Northridge, Calif.), writer of “Down For Whatever;” Roni Brown (Jonesboro, Ga.), writer of “Mr. Wonderful;” and Sade Sellers (Burbank, Calif.), writer of “The Replacement.”

“Launched in 2015, the ABFF TV One Screenplay Competition was developed in partnership with the American Black Film Festival to encourage and find new talent and to look at television as an opportunity to get more screenplays made,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP, Original Programming & Production. “TV One is grateful to continue working with ABFF and to help foster new talent and fresh, original ideas.”

TV One’s three finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to this year’s ABFF in Miami (June 14-18). During ABFF’s “Celebrity Scene Stealers” event on Friday, June 16, each finalist will direct a table read of a scene from their script, performed by professional actors participating in this year’s festival, in front of a live audience. A brief overview of the TV One Screenplay Competition finalists scripts are as follows:

• “Down For Whatever,” a drama by Timothy Folsome: A young female doctor who works at a prestigious hospital learns that her newly-found biological teen sisters are ruthless cop killers that her detective husband is hunting down.

• “Mr. Wonderful,” a romantic comedy by Roni Brown: A biochemist has uncovered the perfect love potion to make sure her unwitting boyfriend becomes her husband.

• “The Replacement,” a thriller by Sade Sellers: An up-and-coming HR manager has her world turned upside down when her new co-worker tries to steal her life.

This year’s winner will be announced at the ABFF Filmmaker Ceremony on Sunday, June 18. The winner will earn a $5,000 cash prize and an opportunity to have their screenplay produced into an original, made-for-TV movie, which will debut in 2018 on TV One and at the 22nd Annual American Black Film Festival.

Screenwriter and TV One’s 2016 ABFF Screenplay Competition finalist Michelle McKissic will debut her original film, Downsized, during this year’s festival on Friday, June 16 at The Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL 33139). The film is slated to premiere on TV One in August 2017.

In the film Downsized, Ebony and Michael were forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding after becoming teenaged parents, putting their personal goals on hold in order to support their family. Amazingly, 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. The film stars husband and wife duo Boris Kodjoe (Code Black, Cape Town) as Michael and Nicole Ari Parker (Time After Time, Almost Christmas) as Ebony.

”Writers and projects like Michelle McKissick and Downsized are perfectly aligned with the TV One goal of representing all aspects of Black life, and affords us the chance to bring new creative voices to the forefront of the Black film world,” said Proctor.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tags #Represent and #ABFF17, and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.


The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. It supports emerging artists to foster a wider range of images, stories and storytellers represented in the entertainment industry. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. Today, the ABFF is recognized as the preeminent pipeline to new Black talent, both in front of and behind the camera, and is regarded as one of the leading film festivals in the world. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content targeted to upscale African American audiences.


Launched in January 2004, TV One serves more than 60 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, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, Hollywood Divas and The NAACP Image Awards. In addition, TV One is the cable home of blockbuster drama Empire, and NewsOne Now, the only live daily news program dedicated to black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK,], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.


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TV One Media Contact:

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