After partnering with BET Networks on a new BET Her initiative, producer Tressa Azarel Smallwood will assist four notable Black Hollywood celebrities in directing for women-centered original short films.
Kim Fields (Living Single), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Sister Act 2), Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America), and Victoria Rowell (Dumb and Dumber) will direct four original 20-minute drama’s under the BET Her “Her Stories” platform that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of Black women filmmakers.
According to Deadline, shooting has started this week in Maryland with the short-films addressing topics from Black families tackling issues like breast cancer to mental health.
“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,” said Lorisa Bates, VP Content Strategy, Co-Productions, and Multiplatform. “We are proud to be the platform for these powerful stories and of the work that our female talent has put into these projects that are ever so timely.”
Two out of the four films, Baby Blue and Everything is Fine is scheduled to air on BET Her July 25.
See the upcoming BET Her short film synopsis’ below:
Title: Baby Blue
Director: Kim Fields
Written by: Nakia Stephens
Cast: Shaquita Smith and Traci Braxton
Baby Blue drops us into the world of a first-time mother who after giving birth to her son, spirals from mild post-partum depression into severe postpartum psychosis. While she gets support with the baby, we see the heart-wrenching consequences of her not getting support for her mental well-being.
Title: A Long Look in the Mirror
Director: Vanessa Bell Calloway
Written by: Deshawn Plair and Sade Oyinade
Cast: Golden Brooks
It tells the story of a broken mother-daughter relationship that is tested to the limits after the youth-obsessed mother receives a cancer diagnosis and struggles to cope with the disease.
Title: Like, Comment, Subscribe
Director: Sheryl Lee Ralph
Written by: Shateka Johnson
Cast: Jasmine Luv and Victoria Rowell.
It follows a wedding vlogger and bride-to-be herself as she chronicles her journey after she is diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Through her journey, we will see the ups, the downs, and the love shared with her fiancé.
Title: Everything is Fine
Director: Victoria Rowell
Written by: Dez White,
Cast: Charmin Lee, Malachi Malik, Vernon Davis
It shows the charmed life of an affluent Black family that seem to have it all but faces a challenge with their estranged son who struggles to hold onto reality with the confidential help of his younger sister.
(Photo by Getty Images)