ATLANTA, GA (Feb. 2, 2013)
– “Pastor Brown,” Rhonda Freeman-Baraka’s tale of a wayward pastor’s daughter who returns to Atlanta to face her past, will make its world premiere on Lifetime, Saturday, February 16, at 8 p.m.
Directed by Rockmond Dunbar, the film features an all-star ensemble cast that includes Salli Richardson-Whitfield, Ernie Hudson, Nicole Ari-Parker, Keith David, Michael B. Jordan, Tasha Smith, Tisha Cambell-Martin, Michael Beach, Angie Stone, Monica Brown and Rev. Creflo Dollar.
Says Freeman-Baraka, “I’m deeply honored to have my film showcased on the Lifetime network. As many people know, it’s taken us a while to get to this point but it was certainly worth the wait.”
“Pastor Brown” was Freeman-Baraka’s official foray into filmmaking. In 2011, her film “Trinity Goodheart,” premiered on gmc (formerly Gospel Music Channel) and, at the time of its airing, was the highest rated show in the network’s history. She said she’s hoping for similar results for “Pastor Brown.” “Over the past couple of years I’ve heard countless stories about how this film has helped people to mend their broken relationships and taught them to look past human flaws and love unconditionally. The prospect of millions of others being touched in a similar manner is humbling and exciting.”
Freeman-Baraka is currently in pre-production on her second gmc film, “Teachers,” which is slated to shoot this spring and is in development on a romantic comedy starring Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari-Parker, also slated for production this spring.
She says having her film included in a Black History Month celebration on a network that celebrates women is a special honor. “I’m sure there is no shortage of compelling, insightful and entertaining stories out there that are written for, by and about African American women. My hope is that networks and studios will see the value in these films, that audiences will support them and that we, as writers, will be blessed with the freedom to tell the stories that are real to us, speaking with our own voices, from our own hearts, our own souls.”
“Pastor Brown” will air as part of Lifetime’s month-long Black History month celebration. Other films featured during the month include Betty & Coretta starring Angela Bassett and Mary J. Blige and Twist of Faith starring Toni Braxton.
ABOUT PASTOR BROWN
In Pastor Brown, a wayward preacher’s daughter, Jessica “Jesse” Brown (Richardson-Whitfield), returns home for the first time in more than a decade after her father (David) falls terminally ill. Her father’s dying wish – that Jesse take over as head of the Mount Olive Baptist Church – turns her and her family’s lives upside down. Jesse reluctantly undertakes her father’s commission, thereby pitting herself against her sister (Parker) and the leadership of Mount Olive Church who know of her sordid past. Through accepting her father’s request, Jesse embarks upon a path that will change her life when she reconnects with her family and estranged teenage son (Jordan) and finds the dignity and self-love she lost long ago. Dunbar (Sons of Anarchy) also stars as Amir Rahim, alongside Campbell-Martin as Amanda Carlton, Hudson as Deacon Harold Todd, Tasha Smith as Angelique Todd and Michael Beach as Rev. Avery Callaghan. Pastor Brown was produced by Rock Capital Films with Shaun Livingston (Next Day Air) and Charles Oakley serving as executive producers. Producers are Re’Shaun Frear (Dirty Laundry), Dunbar and Carol Ann Shine (Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom), with a script by Rhonda F. Baraka (Trinity Goodheart). The film is the directorial debut for Dunbar.
Lifetime is committed to offering the highest quality entertainment and information programming, and advocating a wide range of issues affecting women and their families. In 2012, as a result of its aggressive triple threat programming strategy doubling its amount of original programming spanning scripted dramas, reality series and movies, Lifetime posted its strongest year-on-year growth among the key demographics in 10+ years, while also reaching its youngest median age in 16 years. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime Digital™ are part of Lifetime Entertainment Services, LLC, a subsidiary of A+E Networks. A+E Networks is a joint venture of the Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.