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):