LORRAINE TOUSSAINT, THOMAS Q. JONES AND AISHA HINDS TO LEAD ENSEMBLE CAST IN TV ONE'S "RUNAWAY ISLAND"
American Black Film Festival Screenplay Competition Winner Christopher Brandt's
Heart-Warming Story Set to Premiere Saturday, July 25, 2015
SILVER SPRING, MD. - MAY 6, 2015 - Lorraine Toussaint (Orange Is the New Black), Thomas Q. Jones (Being Mary Jane) and Aisha Hinds (Star Trek Into Darkness) headline TV One's original movie, RUNAWAY ISLAND, the network announced today. Written by Christopher Brandt, the 2014 American Black Film Festival screenplay competition winner, RUNAWAY ISLAND offers viewers a unique story about a group of troubled strangers looking to escape their woes and end up sharing a transformational experience on an island steeped in African American heritage and culture. This poignant film made with love, laughter and tears is slated to premiere Saturday, July 25 at 8 PM/ET.
"As this year's sponsor of the 2015 American Black Film Festival's screenplay competition, we are honored to bring Christopher Brandt's award-winning script to life," said Brad Siegel, President of TV One. "We are dedicated to helping launch the careers of future Black content creators and artists by providing them with a platform to showcase their talents. RUNAWAY ISLAND is the perfect vehicle in which to highlight the incredible, young talent in the Black creative community."
RUNAWAY ISLAND is a story about a group of troubled people finding refuge at Isle du Soleil, a secluded 1700s Gullah Sea Island resort run by a unique interracial couple, Lara Cook-Nordholm (Hinds) and Erick Nordholm (Branton Box, The Purge: Anarchy). The couple's slow-paced, holistic lifestyle forces the island's visitors to examine the strengths and weaknesses of their relationships, along with their own insecurities, while taking stock of their lives and renewing their love for one another.
"It's extremely rare to find stories that take you on the heartwarming and transformative journey that Runaway Island does," said D'Angela Proctor, TV One's SVP Original Programming and Production. "We've assembled one of the best ensemble casts I've ever seen on television, including the island itself as a supporting character, to heroically and honestly tell what it's like to be afraid to love, to move on after the loss of a child or to reveal a much needed truth necessary for healing."
The island's guests include an affluent Capitol Hill grandmother and new widow, Naomi Holloway, portrayed by Toussaint, and her wayward grandson, Evan Holloway (Leon Thomas, Victorious); a successful pastor and his first lady wife, Reverend Clinton and Vonda Hines, who recently lost their daughter to leukemia, played by A. Russell Andrews (Grey's Anatomy, House of Payne) and Erica Tazel (Justified); and media socialite Kira Geoffries (Melanie Liburd, CSI, Stalker) whose engagement to NFL star Raphael Burrows (Jones) threatens her well-cultivated bad girl image.
Additional cast members include Tom Wright (All My Children, Barbershop) as Raymond Tepper, the island caretaker and uncle to Lara Cook-Nordholm, and Herizen Guardiola who depicts Freya Nordholm, the "wiser-than-her-years" teenage daughter of the island's resort owners. (Guardiola, an industry newcomer, recently landed a starring role in the upcoming Baz Luhmann Netflix drama, The Get Down, as the female lead Mylene Cruz.)
RUNAWAY ISLAND wrapped production last week in Point Clear, Alabama. The film is directed by Dianne Houston and produced for TV One by Gingi Rochelle of GR Entertainment Group and Allison Wilmarth Kovak of Cottonseed Studios. Craig Henry serves as executive in charge of production and D'Angela Proctor as executive producer for the network.
About TV One:
Launched in January 2004, TV One (www.tvone.tv) serves 57 million households, offering a broad range of real-life and entertainment-focused original programming, classic series, movies and music designed to entertain and inform a diverse audience of adult Black viewers. The network is the exclusive home of News One Now, the only live daily news program targeting Black viewers. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Radio One [NASDAQ: ROIA and ROIAK, www.radio-one.com], the largest radio company that primarily targets Black and urban listeners.