OWN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CAST AND DIRECTORIAL LINE-UP FOR AWARD-WINNING CREATOR AVA DuVERNAY'S NEW ORIGINAL ANTHOLOGY DRAMA "CHERISH THE DAY"
Michael Beach, Anne-Marie Johnson and Kellee Stewart Join the Cast of the New Drama Premiering Winter 2020
Directors Include Blitz Bazawule, Aurora Guerrero and Deborah Kampmeier
Los Angeles - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today the directorial lineup and additional casting for the first installment of the anticipated new romantic anthology drama "Cherish the Day," created and executive produced by Emmy(R) winner/Academy Award(R)-nominee Ava DuVernay ("Queen Sugar," "When They See Us"). The series from Warner Horizon Scripted Television added Michael Beach, Anne-Marie Johnson and Kellee Stewart in recurring roles. They join previously announced series regulars Xosha Roquemore, Alano Miller and legendary Emmy(R)-winning actress Cicely Tyson. The DuVernay led series recently announced it achieved full gender parity with a production crew of over 50% women, including 18 female department heads.
Directors Blitz Bazawule, Aurora Guerrero and Deborah Kampmeier join previously announced director Tanya Hamilton.
Chapter one of "Cherish the Day" chronicles the stirring relationship of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday. Xosha Roquemore ("The Mindy Project") stars as Gently James and Alano Miller ("Underground") stars as Evan Fisher. The couple meet and fall in love in Los Angeles, with the full season spanning five years in eight episodes.
· Michael Beach ("ER") plays the role of Ben, Gently's foster father, a former gang member who works as deliveryman for the Los Angeles Times. Recurring
· Anne-Marie Johnson ("For The People") plays the role of Dana, Evan's mother who disapproves of his relationship with Gently and is not shy about sharing her reservations. Recurring
· Kellee Stewart ("Guess Who") plays the role of Ellene, Evan's well-bred, religious sister. Recurring
The directing team:
· Tanya Hamilton has directed numerous high-profile drama series for television including OWN's "Queen Sugar" and "Greenleaf," "The Chi," "The Vampire Diaries," "Berlin Station," "American Crime," as well as "Godfather of Harlem" and "Seven Seconds." Her award-winning first feature film "Night Catches Us," a portrayal of former Black Panthers reuniting in 1976 Philadelphia, which she produced, wrote and directed, was in competition for the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize in 2010 and received an Independent Spirit Award nomination, a Black Reel Award nomination and an Athena Film Festival award for directing. Her first project, the short film "The Killers," won high praise at the Berlin International Film Festival. Hamilton is currently a fellow at the Sundance Screenwriter and Filmmaker Lab.
· Blitz Bazawule is a filmmaker and musician born in Ghana and based in New York. Bazawule's feature directorial debut, "The Burial of Kojo," premiered at Urbanworld Film Festival, where it won Best Narrative Feature (World Cinema). It also won the Grand Prize at the 2019 Luxor African Film Festival in Egypt. The film was hailed as "a spellbinding experience" and "a striking feature filmmaking debut" by the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter, respectively. As a composer and musician, Bazawule has released four studio albums: Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011), Afropolitan Dreams (2014) and Diasporadical (2016). Bazawule is the founder of Africa Film Society, an organization focused on the preservation and distribution of classic African cinema. He is a Senior TED Fellow and recipient of the Vilcek Prize.
· Aurora Guerrero wrote and directed "Mosquita Y Mari," her debut narrative feature film, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Her film traveled numerous film festivals, including San Francisco, Melbourne, Goteburg, and Guadalajara, and garnered multiple awards, including Best First Narrative Feature and Best Leading Actress at Outfest, and was nominated for a Cassavetes Spirit Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Guerrero was also named a Berlin Talent Campus Fellow and a Time Warner/Sundance Storytelling Fellow. In 2017, Guerrero was invited to direct an episode of DuVernay's ground-breaking television drama "Queen Sugar." Since then she has directed on OWN's "Greenleaf," "The Red Line," "13 Reasons Why," "Little America" and "Gente-fied."
· Deborah Kampmeier is an award-winning filmmaker, having written, directed, produced and edited multiple feature films. Her first feature "Virgin," starring Elisabeth Moss and Robin Wright, was nominated for two 2004 Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss and the John Cassavetes Award for the best feature made for under $500,000. Her second feature, "Hounddog" starring Dakota Fanning, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Kampmeier's third feature, "Split," won Best of Show at the 2016 Female Eye Film Festival and was nominated for the Independent Vision Best Film at the 2016 Sarasota Film Festival. Kampmeier has just wrapped production on her fourth feature, "Tape", starring Isabelle Fuhrman. Kampmeier made her episodic directorial debut this year on OWN's "Queen Sugar."
Created and executive produced by Ava DuVernay, "Cherish the Day" is set to premiere winter 2020 and is produced for OWN by ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes ("Queen Sugar"), Tanya Hamilton ("Queen Sugar," "Night Catches Us"), and Oprah Winfrey are executive producers.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for a premium scripted and unscripted programming from today's most innovative storytellers. OWN's original scripted series include "Queen Sugar," "Greenleaf," "The Haves and the Have Nots," "If Loving You is Wrong," "Ambitions" and "David Makes Man." OWN's Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes "Iyanla: Fix My Life," "Ready to Love," "Love & Marriage: Huntsville," "Family or Fiancé" and "Black Love." OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platformOprah.com. Access OWN anytime onWatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.
About Warner Horizon Scripted Television
A division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Horizon Scripted Television was founded in 2006 and is one of the entertainment industry's leading producers of dramatic and comedic programming for the cable and subscription/on-demand streaming marketplace. Series produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television include "Animal Kingdom" and "Claws" for TNT, "Cherish the Day," "David Makes Man" and "Queen Sugar" for OWN, "The Flight Attendant" for HBO Max, "Fuller House," "Medical Police" and "You" for Netflix, "Pennyworth" for EPIX, and "The Right Stuff" for National Geographic.
ARRAY is a multi-platform media company and arts collective based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2012 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the company currently operates a trio of branded entertainment entities: ARRAY Releasing, ARRAY Creative Campus, and ARRAY Filmworks. ARRAY Filmworks develops and produces stories that center around people of color and women of all kinds. Feature film and TV projects include "When They See Us," "13TH," "Queen Sugar," "Cherish The Day," "The Red Line," "Venus Vs," "Middle of Nowhere," "I Will Follow" and commercial and installation work for Prada, Apple and The Smithsonian. www.arraynow.com.