BET+ has set the date for the original made-for-tv movie, Tressa Azarel Smallwood’s A Rich Christmas, starring Bill Bellamy (Def Comedy Jam), Brandee Evans (P-Valley), Denise Boutte (Meet The Browns) and Vanessa Williams (Soul Food), directed by Victoria Rowell for Thursday, November 4th on their successful streaming platform, BET Plus. In this exclusive kickoff of BET 2021 holiday programming, Tressa Azarel Smallwood’s MegaMind Media brings you a delightful film centering on a spoiled socialite who will learn a lesson after her father asks her to work in a family homeless center.
‘Valerie Rich’ (played by Tyler Abron), a spoiled and ungrateful wealthy socialite, learns a valuable lesson one Christmas after her mega real estate businessman father, ‘Marshall Rich’ (Bill Bellamy in a quintessential role) decides to close the first property that started his business
— a homeless family shelter. Valerie, upset that her father wishes to replace their daddy/daughter trip to Aspen for Christmas by spending time volunteering at the homeless shelter, allows her boyfriend ‘Tyson’ (Faith Malonte) to convince her that stealing money from her father’s office would be the way for the couple to still make the trip to Aspen. Brandee Evans (who broke out on P-Valley and has become a household name) plays the pivotal role of ‘Carolyn,’ the indisputable presence who makes everyone understand what Christmas is truly about.
After Valerie and Tyson are caught for stealing, a disappointed Marshal gives Valerie the ultimatum of jail time or spending the holiday season living and volunteering at the shelter without access to her debit/credit cards, car and lavish apartment. Valerie chooses the time at the shelter during where she connects with families there and devises a holiday benefit to keep the shelter open. Marshal is proud of a changed Valerie and realizes that he lost his way too and decides to keep the homeless shelter open.
Victoria Rowell, best known as an award-winning actress, international lecturer, recently made her directing debut on last year’s BET’s Women’s Health Initiative movie “Everything is Fine,” and has been recognized by Congress for advocacy work on behalf of education, arts, foster and adoptive youth and parents as well as diversity issues. Tressa Azarel Smallwood and Donte Lee produced, Shateka Johnson wrote the script, Jennifer Hook served as cinematographer, Teddy Bishop composed the memorable score, Charles Jones as editor, Maggy Francois and Jermaine Smith cast and production design was by Leslie Allen.
“We are honored and forever grateful to BET/Viacom for this opportunity to showcase the work of our stellar cast and crew as well as be the home for one of the first holiday movies of the 2021 season on their newest platform, showcasing creative ability to uplift and entertain an all-ages audience in the midst of challenging times,” says uber producer Smallwood.
The new service from BET Networks, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc., BET+ is the preeminent streaming service for the Black audience, with exclusive originals and thousands of TV episodes and movies from the best Black creators. A joint venture between BET Networks and Tyler Perry Studios, BET+ allows users to stream Black culture including hit movies, TV shows, stand-up comedy, award shows, and specials, all in one place, commercial-free. Visit BET.Plus to learn more and follow @BETPlus on social to join the conversation and get the latest.
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