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Preview Spiritual Drama “A Beautiful Soul” (Directed By Jeff Byrd, w/ Harry Lennix, Vanessa Bell Calloway)

Preview Spiritual Drama "A Beautiful Soul" (Directed By Jeff Byrd, w/ Harry Lennix, Vanessa Bell Calloway)

From producer/writer/director Jeff Byrd (brother of casting director Twinkie Byrd – Sparkle, Jumping The Broom & more – whom I interviewed last week; post coming soon) comes what he’s describing as “an urban contemporary re-telling of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” titled A Beautiful Soul.

Here’s a synopsis for the film:

R&B superstar Andre Stephens (Deitrick Haddon) is on top of the world. He has success, fame, and fortune but spiritually he has lost his way. However, his “perfect” world is shattered when his entourage is brutally attacked, leaving Andre and his best friend Chris Johnson (Robert Ri’chard) clinging to life. As his very existence hangs in the balance, Andre goes on a spiritual journey in a place that is neither on Earth nor in Heaven where he is given an opportunity to reevaluate his life, his faith and discover a beautiful soul.

The drama boasts a cast that includes veterans like Harry Lennix and Vanessa Bell Calloway, and stars Deitrick Haddon. Rounding out the cast are Golden Brooks, LesLey-ann Brandt, Robert Ri’chard, Barry Floyd, Trevor Jackson, John Salley and Bishop Noel Jones.

Worth noting… for those note familiar, Jeff Byrd has worked in both TV and film in some form since the early 1990s, and has since directed over 100 music videos (for the likes of Nas, Bone Thugs and Harmony, Naughty By Nature and Gangstarr), at least 4 feature films (including the TV 2003 movie Jasper, Texas, as well as the 2005 comedy King’s Ransom for New Line Cinema, which starred Anthony Anderson).

He also directed 12 episodes of the TV series version of Soul Food.

A Beautiful Soul is Jeff’s next project, produced independently under his Feather Films banner along with his partner and co-producer Dominique Telson.

No release dates yet, but when I have them, you will too; although I suspect it’ll play the film festival circuit first.

In the meantime, watch the film’s first trailer below for a glimpse at that to expect (full poster underneath):

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Caught my attention with Robert Ri'chard's name then lost me completely with Golden Brooks'. PASS


Oh boy, as much as I want Christian Themed films to project the right message, most of them fail me. Well, most of them are poorly directed, the actors are generally of B-list quality and their acting is generally way over the top. But let me make something very clear. There is a difference between "Christian Themed Films" and "targeted toward Christians". Although I wouldn't necessarily agree with the opinion that Tyler Perry falls in the latter (because I believe it's a negative rub) yet, some of his films have a few Christian messages. But check this… the most successful Christian themed film of all time is The Passion Of Christ, followed by 3 "The Chronicles of Narnia" films. Jonah: A veggie Tale Movie is in the top ten with a take of 25 million. Some would argue that The Book of Eli is a Christian Themed film, if so, it would fall somewhere in the middle of the top 10. Anyway, as I was looking at the list, I wondered why they were successful and why I have a hard time with Christain Themed films with a black cast. Well, take for instance this film. I immediately noticed the name Bishop Noel Jones. Okay, on a personal note, I don't do his type of preachers. His style and delivery is too "show-time" for me. I've seen him do his thang at Bishop Eddie Long's Church… nuff said. Also, although the director has "credits" and experience, from what I saw in this clip I believe he's still "growing" and needs to find a more subtle approach. The lead actor… ah… needs work too. Having said all that, I am looking forward to seeing Russ Parr's The Undershepherd and I believe I might have to see T.D Jake's new film this weekend.


God is able to do just what he said he would do. He's gonna fulfill every promise to you


um. no.

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