Paula Patton to Star in BET+ Legal Thriller (Exclusive)

Amy Sussman/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
Paula Patton

‘Sacrifice’ will be a two-hour movie and double as a backdoor pilot.

BET+ continues to ramp up its roster of originals.

The forthcoming streaming service has greenlit Sacrifice, a two-hour movie starring Paul Patton that will double as a backdoor pilot.

The original movie, described as a legal thriller, will star Patton (Precious) as an entertainment lawyer navigating the nefarious lives of her rich and famous clients.

Chris Stokes (You Got Served) is attached to write, exec produce and direct. Marques Houston will co-exec produce the Footage Films project, which shot in New Orleans. The movie will premiere on BET’s forthcoming streaming service at a date to be determined in 2020.

“We are thrilled to have Paula and the talented ensemble cast join our first original film on BET+, as we continue to strengthen our commitment to quality storytelling while meeting our audience on all platforms,” said Connie Orlando, head of programming at BET Networks. 

Read Full article by Lesley Goldberg here: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/paula-patton-star-bet-legal-thriller-1232090

Grammy Award Winning Songwriter Lashawn Daniels Dies At Age 41

Lashawn Daniels

It’s so sad for me to have to post this today. My friend and Grammy-winning songwriter LaShawn Daniels died in a car crash, his family announced today. Lashawn was a talented individual who was loved by many and touched so many people that he worked with.

Daniels wrote songs for major artists including Beyoné, Lady Gaga, Whitney Housten, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys and Janet Jackson. He was also known for his collaborations with producer Darkchild. He earned a Grammy Award in 2000 for the Destiny Child’s hit “Say My Name.

My prayers and love go out to his family in this time of loss for them.

Chris Stokes New Series “Sacrifice” starring Paula Patton announced by BET

BET NETWORKS ANNOUNCES NEW LEGAL THRILLER “SACRIFICE” STARRING PAULA PATTON

PRODUCED BY FOOTAGE FILMS THE TWO-HOUR ORIGINAL MOVIE, “SACRIFICE,” IS SLATED TO PREMIERE ON BET’s NEW STREAMING SERVICE BET+

NEW YORK, NY – Thursday, August 15, 2019 – Today, BET Networks announced the production of a new original movie “SACRIFICE” starring Paula Patton (“Hitch,” “Precious”). “SACRIFICE” takes place in Los Angeles following Daniella Hernandez, played by Patton, a highly sought after entertainment lawyer. The legal thriller tracks Daniella as she navigates the nefarious lives of her rich and famous clients. Daniella has a reputation that proves problematic to LA Law enforcement, forcing her to be at odds with her sorority sister turned nemesis District Attorney Beverly Rucker. In an attempt to protect her often unscrupulous clients, Daniella enlists the services of her resourceful assistant and a young ex-hacker and tech genius. “SACRIFICE” is executive produced, written, and directed by Chris Stokes. Marques Houston also serves as the film’s co-executive producer for Footage Films. Principal photography for “SACRIFICE” took place in New Orleans. “SACRIFICE” will premiere on BET’s new streaming service BET+ in 2020.

“I’m excited to be a part of the BET family and their newest endeavor BET+,” said Paula Patton.

“We are thrilled to have Paula and the talented ensemble cast join our first original film on BET+, as we continue to strengthen our commitment to quality storytelling while meeting our audience on all platforms,” said Connie Orlando, Head of Programming, BET Networks 

“Sacrifice will give viewers a hot, steamy look into the life of a high powered entertainment attorney and how she handles the perils that come with working in the entertainment industry.” Said Chris Stokes, Footage Films.  “Many people probably assume that entertainment attorneys only make deals and review paperwork, but there is so much more to what they have to do and what they must do in certain situations to get their job done.  I believe the edginess and relevancy of the storyline will bring a fresh new breed of viewers to the network.”

PAULA PATTON will play DANIELLA HERNANDEZ

Daniella is an all-around boss and power player. As an entertainment attorney, she uses her quick-wit and attention to detail to secure clients and manage their unruly lives.

Patton is an award-winning actress and producer. She is known for her roles in blockbuster feature films such as “Hitch,” “Mission Impossible,” “Idlewild” and opposite Denzel Washington in “Déjà Vu.” Some of her most notable work includes her role in “Precious” which earned her esteemed nominations from the Black Reel Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Her latest films include “Traffik” and the upcoming movie “Four Kids and It.” Paula is represented by ICM Partners, Management Production Entertainment and Ziffren Brittenham.

ERICA ASH will play BEVERLY NICOLE RUCKER

A powerful district attorney, and sorority sister of Daniella, Beverly is relentless in her pursuit to rid the city of celebrities who live above the law

Ash has emerged as an Image Award nominee and versatile lead actress, coming from BET’s critically acclaimed series, “In Contempt,” and hit show, “Survivor’s Remorse.” Prior to her breakout roles, she recurred on shows such as “The Big Gay Sketch Show,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” and “MadTV.” Ash’s credits also include “The Lion King” on Broadway. Ash is repped by Innovative Artists and Darrell Miller at Fox Rothschild LLP.

JUAN ANTONIO will play DOMINIQ MAYFIELD AKA BIG DOM

Big Dom is a powerful, confident and extraordinarily successful hip hop artist and mogul. He and Daniella have a long history.

Antonio is a rising actor and aspiring writer/director, and can currently be found in a season-long arc on Freeform’s “Good Trouble.” Antonio’s film credits include Lifetime’s “Pride & Prejudice: Atlanta” as the notable Mr. Will Darcy (2019) and is slated for “Good Joe Bell” opposite Mark Walhberg in 2020. Antonio’s television credits also include recurring roles on “Empire” and “Murder in the First.”

V. BOZEMAN will play TAMIKA BLAND
Daniella’s loyal and resourceful assistant, Tamika is a professional partner and personal confidante. 

V. Bozeman, a South Central, LA Native is a Grammy-nominated Artist/Actress best known for her recurring role as “Veronika” in FOX’s Golden Globe-nominated hit drama Empire. Bozeman captivated over 20 Million viewers when she opened the series premiere singing her heart-wrenching ballad “What Is Love,” that would grant her a Gold plaque. Bozeman was cast in the Black comedy Netflix drama “Boy Bye” alongside Actress Wendy Raquel Robinson. In 2017 V co-starred with Actor/Activist Jesse Williams in a riveting 7-minute protest film called “Versus.” The sultry singer also teamed up with 6-time Grammy-nominated recording artist Tyrese for a visually stunning, musical adventure in the form of a short film titled “The Black Book” featuring their successful single “You Can’t Break Me.” V is currently prepping her debut EP for the fall of 2019. 

ALTONIO JACKSON will play STEVEN SOMWON
An ex-hacker, Steven is pulled into Daniella’s camp after working at her firm in the mailroom.

Altonio Jackson is known for his roles in: HBO Series Treme “Lil Calliope,” Body Cam “Aaron,” I Got the Hook Up 2 “Kokane” and VH1 Black Ink “Himself.”  Altonio is also a Rapper “Ace B47” his work has been featured on HBO Treme Soundtrack and on “I Got the Hook Up 2” Soundtrack.  Ace B47 is known for his albums “Ace of Hearts,” “Ace of Spades” and “Ace of Clubs.”

NELSON BONILLA will play MIGUEL
Daniella’s trusted driver and fatherly figure. Miguel has a unique and specific skill set. It’s those sets of skills, combined with his fidelity to Daniella, that make him a valuable asset to the team.

Nelson has a formidable presence and a kind heart. A native of Camden, NJ, Nelson is known as a leader both on and off-screen. His body of work includes an ongoing recurring role in Jason Bateman’s Emmy Nominated Netflix series “Ozark,” “MacGyver” on CBS and Irv Gotti’s BET Anthology “Tales” to name just a few of his television credits. Bonilla has graced the silver screen as well, in films such as “Let’s Be Cops,” “Madea’s Witness Protection” and he will be in the anxiously awaited release of “Black And Blue” directed by Deon Taylor.

MICHAEL TOLAND will play ARNOLD LANG
Arnold is the founding partner of Daniella’s firm, Lang & Associates.

Michael Toland is one of those “I know that guy” working actors. A career that spans 30+ years from NYC Off Broadway to TV series regular on HBO’s “1st and 10,” “Young and the Restless,” “Desire,” “One World” and countless Television guest starring roles, credits include “NCIS,” “Without A Trace,” and “Ghost Whisperer.” Additionally, featured roles in films credits include “Always and 4ever” Opposite Cynthia Addai-Robinson, “God’s Country,” and “Battlefield America.”

JAMES TREVENA BROWN will play JOSHUA LANG
Joshua is Arnold Lang’s son and next in line to make partner at the company.

James Trevena-Brown just shot a new series for BET playing Paula Patton’s love interest.  As of May 2019, he can also be seen as “DENNIS WILSON” in the Matt Smith-led film CHARLIE SAYS for IFC Films and Mary Harron, who also directed “AMERICAN PSYCHO.”  In the last year, he filmed 2-episodes for HBO’s hit “BIG LITTLE LIES,” appeared in Paramount Network’s “AMERICAN WOMAN” for John Wells Productions, and filmed the FOX pilot “THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO with Hannah Simone.”  In 2014, he appeared in the role of “CRISPIN EDENSONG” on MTV’s “THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES” from Alfred Gough and Miles Millar and executive producer Jon Favreau.  One of his first feature films was in Peter Jackson’s THE HOBBIT.

LILIANA MONTENEGRO will play GABRIELLA HERNANDEZ
Daniella’s Spanish-speaking aunt who comforts her at home.

Montenegro is an actress and stand-up comedian born in Lima, Peru. She has held lead roles in over seven films, including her most notable credit in the television movie, Lifetime’s ‘Fall Into Me’. Liliana can also be seen as a guest star in the NBC series, “BAD JUDGE” opposite Kate Walsh.

MARQUES HOUSTON will play JASON PRATT

Jason is a young Assistant District Attorney who knows the law better than anyone and does everything by the book.

Houston starred in the #1 Box Office hit ‘You Got Served’ (2004), ‘Fat Albert’ (2004) and the ’One on One’ spin off series titled ‘Cuts’, with actress Shannon Elizabeth. Houston has written, produced  or starred in several Footage Films TV and Film Projects,  including the romantic dramedy Will To Love, the romantic comedy A Weekend With The Family with Karrueche Tran, the suspense thriller “Til Death Do Us Part” starring Taye Diggs and several others. Houston is currently the CEO of Footage Films.  

JOSUÉ RAMON GUTIERREZ will play OSCAR BAPTISTE
A client of Daniella’s and Dom’s biggest hip hop rival.

Josué Gutierrez, most recognized for his recurring character in Netflix’s Bloodline, is a Puerto Rican American actor who has appeared in some of film and television’s top programs. Josué recently guest-starred as “Chino” on the season premiere episode of “Tales” on BET.  

About Chris Stokes

Chris Stokes is the Founder and Chairman of the Southern California based production company Footage Films.  Chris has been a powerhouse force as a writer, director, and producer since his directorial breakthrough with “You Got Served,” a dance drama film that grossed over $150 million worldwide. Chris taps previously unknown talent and creates a boot camp atmosphere for them, teaching them the business and directing them to greatness. As a filmmaker, the space that Chris specializes in is niche stories with themes others have covered, but never with these kinds of fresh narratives featuring young urban performers. Footage Films has been successful in taking films and series featuring unique points of view and creating a powerful market space for them.  Growing Footage Films into a high-impact independent film, TV, and digital content company provides Chris with ongoing opportunities to engage in his passion for filmmaking.

For more information about “SACRIFICE” visit BET.com. Also, join the conversation on all social platforms using hashtags: #SacrificeOnBET and follow the show for all

For cast images, please visit BETPressroom.com.

About Footage Films  

Footage Films is passionately founded, on the principle that life is a length of a plethora of scenes a mantra strongly believed by Chris Stokes. The company’s content creation takes many forms, from motion pictures to broadcast entertainment, producing content to creative programming, scoring to emerging platforms – The common thread in our work is a firm commitment to the choreography of emotions and ideas on film. Footage Films is life documented. Footage Films was founded in 2015, by Chris Stokes, with the intention to pursue stories objectively, executing the highest possible standards artistically, creatively and technically; To entertain viewers; and tell diverse stories. Its mission is to deliver high quality, multi-cultural, fiction/non-fiction programming and production for digital audio/visual media, theatrical and broadcast television through all platforms. Netflix is currently streaming several films released by Footage Films and directed by Chris Stokes, The romantic comedy “Boy Bye,” the dramatic thrillers “We Belong Together” and “Running Out Of Time” starring Tasha Smith. Other Projects Currently in the Footage Films pipeline are “Sacrifice” which stars Paula Patton, “Always and Forever” which stars Wood Harris, Lauren London and Loretta Devine. “Howard High“ an Urban Musical/Drama with the feel of a modern day Fame meets Glee. “The Assistant” which is produced by Chris Stokes and his producing partner Paula Patton. The thriller “Triggered” and the heartfelt drama “Wake Up William”.  http://www.footage-films.com

ABOUT BET NETWORKS

BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in nearly 85 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET Networks around the globe.

A Message From Chris Stokes

Chris Stokes at Lunch

Keep people that drain you away from you! I only want happy great people to be in my life! I’m so tired of leeches that hold on to you, take all the life out of you and take advantage of your heart and your love! Close them out your life! Live in love. Your energy is valuable be careful who you give it to.

#chrisstokes @chrisstokes1969 #happylife

Chris Stokes On Set in New Orleans

Out here on set working! Started my shoot for my new movie this past Monday! Happy with life and thankful. Life is great and I’m so happy to be where I am. Nothing left to do but keep pushing forward, keep being positive and keep working hard! I can’t wait for all of you to see what I’m working on now. I hope that you love it….I think you will!! 50 years old on Sunday! I’m getting old!!!

#chrisstokes @chrisstokes1969 #lovemylife #lovemyfriends #lovemyfamily http://chrisstokesent.com  @FootageFilms

Chris Stokes Turns 50

Chris Stokes in New Orleans

Can’t believe I’m 50. You never really imagine yourself at this age but I’m so thankful that GOD has allowed me to get here! It’s been a long road and it’s encouraging to know that I have made it this far. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. There is a lot more to do and a lot more to see. As you get older in life I would suggest to everyone out there to continue living in love. Love is the only pure thing in this world that we have, there should never be any room in this world for hate. I’m working hard to do that and so should you. Enjoy your day, be positive!!

#lovemylife #PositiveVibes @chrisstokes1969. @BET @FootageFilms

Great Things Are Coming

So excited to work with these ladies @TheEricaAsh and @PaulaPattonXO the greatest team! It’s never work when you get to do what you love everyday. Being a director is more than just showing you guys a great movie or a great tv show. It’s taking words that are on paper and bringing them to life on the screen for you. I love being able to have the opportunity to create and bring great things to all of you! I appreciate all of your support of my projects, I wouldn’t be here without you. Ya’ll not ready for this one!! Thank You

#Sacrifice @FootageFilms @BET @chrisstokes1969

Thinking About Life

Chris Stokes Thinking

Thinking about life and all the things it brings. I wonder what my Heavenly Father has coming up for me. So many people walk a Negative path, and they wonder why their life is so messed up! Look at yourself and make yourself better so you can turn around for the better! Have a positive week! Have a productive week! Don’t let no one bring you down. No one!!! Let the greatness shine in you. Have a great week!!! 

Chris Stokes Views On Fatherhood

Christopher B Stokes is an accomplished entrepreneur who has made a name for himself in the music industry with the discovery of such stars as Brandy, Immature, B2K, Jhene Aiko, Sevyn Streeter, Omarion, Marques Houston and more. He is a Los Angeles native who has been immersed in the music business since the age of 17.

Stokes also has a passion for writing, producing and directing films. After his film “You Got Served” did over 150 million at the box office, several opportunities opened and now Chris has over 17 directing credits and is currently producing a series for a major network.

This father of four has managed to master the art of balance and though he stays very busy, Stokes knows the importance of putting family first.

How does following your spiritual values help you in life?
Following your spiritual values in life is always beneficial. In a lot of ways, it keeps you on the “right” path. When you put those values and those goals first in your life, then more often than not your path is directed in the direction that it should go in. Spiritual values should be a personal priority for everyone.

Why is it important to expose children to education and valuable skills? 
The world is unforgiving, so in saying that, it’s imperative to expose children to education and valuable skills. By doing so, this allows them to navigate through that world, hopefully with the right mind and the right way of thinking. I feel like that is one of the best ways to prepare a child for what’s ahead of them.

How would you describe your Fatherhood culture? 
The best way to describe my Fatherhood culture is “Impartial.”  I approach every situation with my children with impartiality. I teach them not to be judgmental and in doing so I have to show them that I am the same way. I have come to find out that it helps tremendously in dealing with all children, not just mine.

Name one life lesson that no one taught you, but should have.
The one life lesson that I wish someone would have taught me is to manage [the] expectations of people. I teach my kids to be mindful that people are imperfect and we can’t expect out of them what we expect for ourselves, or what we think we should expect from them. What you get may be all they have to offer.

As a father and a life coach, describe your playbook.
Simple…trust your gut!! If it feels wrong it probably is wrong. Intuition isn’t something you can really teach but you can encourage it and cultivate it.

Finish the sentence: Never give up on yourself because … 
No one can dictate what you are capable of. If you believe in yourself and never quit, you can attain any goal. Every person that did something great started at the same point that we all do.