TV One’s 2017 Winning Screenplay, “Down For Whatever,” Written by  Timothy Folsome Set to Debut as a TV One Original Movie at Next Year’s Festival and Premiere On-Air in July 2018.

SILVER SPRING, MD – DECEMBER 20, 2017 – TV One, the network dedicated to represent the best in Black culture and entertainment, today announced its return as a sponsor of the 2018 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) and the Fourth Annual TV One Screenplay Competition. Created to promote the production of creative, contemporary, engaging and relatable screenplays, the competition will highlight three new writers who will vie for a $5,000 cash prize and the opportunity to have their screenplay produced into an original movie, which will premiere on TV One and screen at ABFF. The competition opens Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 and applicants have until Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 to submit their screenplays for consideration at

“TV One is excited to return as a sponsor of the American Black Film Festival and represent new voices in the entertainment industry through the 4th Annual TV One Screenplay Competition,” says D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP, Original Programming & Production. ”It is our goal to discover new talent and help make dreams come true for deserving young writers of color who will have the opportunity to see their work leap from the pages to the screen.”

Each year, TV One receives more than 200 submissions for the competition. A committee of entertainment executives read the top 20 scripts and three finalists are selected, based on creativity, originality, and the potential ability for the script to be transformed into a made-for-TV production. The finalists will receive an all-expense paid trip to the film festival in Miami (June 13-17, 2018) and will observe a scene from their script, performed by professional actors at a table read in front of a live audience. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the “ABFF Awards Presentation” on Saturday, June 16. Official rules and submission information are available on TV One’s website and on ABFF’s website (

“Our partnership with TV One has been impactful and meaningful. Together, we are finding Hollywood’s next up and coming writers and providing them with a platform to showcase their work.  We are happy to continue this relationship and look forward to discovering and supporting new talent,” says Jeff Friday, CEO of ABFF Ventures.

TV One’s 2017 ABFF Screenplay Competition winner, Timothy Folsome, will debut his original film, Down For Whatever, at the festival this June. The film will then premiere on TV One in July 2018. In Down For Whatever, a young female doctor who works at a prestigious hospital learns that her newly-found biological teen sisters are ruthless cop killers that her detective husband is hunting down. The film was shot in Atlanta and stars LeToya Luckett, Hosea Chanchez, Imani Hakim and Bre-Z. Folsome is the first screenplay competition writer selected to also direct his winning project for TV One.

“Winning the TV One Screenplay Competition was a great experience. It felt almost like winning the Academy Awards,” says Folsome, who was looking for his big break when he decided to apply. “Screenwriters should enter the competition because even if you don’t win, it’s great exposure and there’s a chance that TV One may option your script. You never know what’s going to happen.”

TV One began its sponsorship of the TV One Screenplay Competition in 2015 with the debut of Runaway Island (Lorraine Touissant, Aisha Hinds, Thomas Q. Jones, A. Russell Andrews, Erica Tazel), written by the 2014 winner Christopher Brandt. In 2016, the network premiered Bad Dad Rehab, an original film highlighting the ups and downs of parenthood by 2015 winner Keronda “Kimi McKnight.” In 2017, TV One presented Downsized, starring Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, by 2016 screenplay competition finalist, Michelle McKissick.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tag #Represent, #ABFF22, and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.

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The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. For more than two decades, the ABFF has been the standard-bearer of excellence in independent Black cinema, having premiered the works and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful artists, including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). Today, it is the preeminent pipeline for Black talent, in front of and behind the camera, significantly expanding the range of talent in the entertainment industry at large. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content, targeted to upscale African American audiences. The company is a joint venture between Film Life Inc. and Black Enterprise, two prominent media and event companies, each with legacies of showcasing the best of African American culture and achievement.


Launched in January 2004, TV One serves 59 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 represents the best in black culture and entertainment with fan favorite shows Unsung, Rickey Smiley For Real, Fatal Attraction, and The NAACP Image Awards.  In addition, TV One is the cable home of blockbuster drama Empire. In December 2008, the company launched TV One High Def, which now serves 14 million households. TV One is solely owned by Urban One, Inc., formerly known as Radio One, Inc. [NASDAQ: UONE and UONEK,], the largest African-American owned multi-media company primarily targeting Black and urban audiences.

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