By Tammy Reese
FROM GRAMMY AND EMMY AWARD-WINNING ARTIST AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER MARY J. BLIGE, COMES TWO NEW ORIGINAL MOVIES INSPIRED BY HER BEST-SELLING SONGS REAL LOVE AND STRENGTH OF A WOMAN, STARRING AJIONA ALEXUS AND DA’VINCHI
PREMIERING JUNE 10 AND JUNE 17
JOHN AND JORDAN DAVIS PRODUCE ALONGSIDE BLIGE,
ASHAUNNA K. AYARS AND Q. NICOLE JACKSON
The "Queen of Hip Hop Soul," will be the queen of this summer with two new original movies inspired by Mary J. Blige's biggest hits -- Mary J. Blige’s Real Love and Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman, set to premiere on back-to-back Saturdays, beginning June 10 at 8p/7c. The two-pack of movies are headlined by Ajiona Alexus (Empire,13 Reasons Why) and Da'Vinchi (BMF, All American) with Princess Davis, Austin Anozie, Millan Tesfazgi, Shiraine Haas, Garfield Wilson and Hamza Fouad rounding out the cast and portrays the highs and lows of young Black love.
The story of Kendra and Ben continues in Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman, jumping ahead more than 15 years. Now a successful photographer, Kendra finds herself in a failing marriage and must reckon with the decisions she made for the life she thought she wanted. When Ben unexpectedly comes back into her life, she is forced to a crisis point and must dig deep to find the strength to take control of her life and accept the love Ben may be offering again.
In support of the content, Lifetime has partnered with Take Back The Night Foundation®, an international event and non-profit organization with the mission ending all forms of sexual violence, including sexual assault, sexual abuse, trafficking, stalking, gender harassment, and relationship violence, and to support survivors in their healing journeys.
Helming both movies as executive producers are John Davis and Jordan Davis of Davis Entertainment Jordan recently produced Lifetime’s highly rated film, Love You to Death, inspired by the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Jordan is also a producer on Netflix's upcoming science-fiction/fantasy film The Uglies, starring Joey King and Laverne Cox. Set to be released this year, development on the project dates back to 2006 as it was a favorite novel of Jordan and her daughter's. Veteran film, television and award-winning producer John Davis is known for more than 115 top grossing feature films including Jungle Cruise, Predator, Grumpy Old Men, Waterworld and most recently Prey, to name a few.
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Mary J. Blige also serves as an executive producer on both original films through her own production banner, Blue Butterfly with Ashaunna K. Ayars and Q. Nicole Jackson as co-producers. Blige has a proven track record of resonating with Lifetime’s audiences, having previously executive produced Lifetime’s top-rated original movie of 2020, The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel alongside fellow EPs Queen Latifah and Missy Elliott. In 2020, The Clark Sisters reached more than 13.9 million Total Viewers1 and was 2020’s #1 original movie on cable.2 Blige also starred as Dr. Betty Shabazz in her first movie role in the Lifetime civil rights biopic Betty & Coretta, with Angela Bassett.
In addition, Mary J. Blige’s Real Love and Mary J. Blige’s Strength of a Woman are also produced by Front Street Pictures and are being distributed by Sony Pictures Television. Camrus Johnson directs Real Love from a script written by Sonja Warfield and Rachel Ingram, and Shari Lynette Carpenter directs Strength of a Woman from a script written by Ingram.
Celebrating over 35 years of entertaining audiences, Lifetime is a premier entertainment destination for women dedicated to offering the highest quality original programming spanning award-winning movies, high- quality scripted series and breakout non-fiction series. Lifetime has an impressive legacy in public affairs, bringing attention to social issues that women care about with initiatives such as the long-running Stop Breast Cancer for Life, Stop Violence Against Women, and Broader Focus, a major global initiative dedicated to supporting and hiring female directors, writers and producers, including women of color, to make its content. Lifetime Television®, LMN®, Lifetime Real Women® and Lifetime DigitalTM 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.
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Tammy Reese began her career as a theater actress performing in 60 live stage shows a year with The Media Unit TV and Stage Production Company. She also directed the weekly live TV show Rough Times Live.
Eventually, she went to Empire State College to obtain her degree in media studies. After graduation, she did more theater and wrote and produced her own videos to spread awareness on social issues through the arts.
Tammy is an award-winning journalist and is best known for her legendary interviews with Sigourney Weaver, Meagan Good, Jennifer Connelly, Laurence Fishburne, Mona Scott- Young, Geena Davis, Essie Davis, Vivica A. Fox, Omar Epps, Joseph Sikora, Nelly, Ryan Coogler, Carmen Electra, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Giancarlo Esposito, Dedee Pfeiffer, Leon, Patina Miller, La La Anthony, Neyo, Britt Lower, Michael James Shaw, Aleks Paunovic, Courtney Kemp, Janet Hubert, Tom Arnold, Michole Briana White, Matt Cedeño, Raven Goodwin, Amber Riley, Ross Marquand, Merritt Wever and many more.
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