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May 20, 2020, 8:00 a.m. EDT

UMC Partners With American Black Film Festival (ABFF) To Host "Shoot Your Shot" Talent Search For "Partners In Rhyme"


LOS ANGELES, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- UMC, the first and largest streaming service for Black TV and film from AMC Networks, is partnering with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) to kick off a nationwide casting call for the co-star of its latest original production, "Partners In Rhyme." A new half-hour sitcom created by "Martin" and "The Jamie Foxx Show" alum Bentley Kyle Evans together with MC Lyte, "Partners In Rhyme" chronicles the trials of an up-and-coming female high school rapper, social media sensation and foster kid who thinks she is the best thing to happen to the rap game since Cardi B. MC Lyte also stars in the sitcom as a label executive charged with helping the difficult but talented new artist navigate the industry.

In order to participate in the national casting call, contestants must be 18 years or older and submit:

  1. A 3-minute profile video about themselves and their background

  2. 2 contemporary monologue performances – 1 comedy, 1 drama

  3. A rap performance of 1 verse of their choice (original or cover)

All submission items must be emailed together in one email to Casting@SunniGyrl.com . Submissions will be accepted from May 18th, 2020 – June 30th, 2020 .

"The UMC team has gone into this year determined to test new waters in content, connecting with our consumers, and even sourcing new talent for our original productions," says Brett Dismuke, Chief Content Officer of UMC . "The opportunity to pair an industry legend like MC Lyte with up-and-coming talent we've yet to discover is the exact principle on which both UMC and ABFF were founded. This partnership is the perfect springboard to launch this exciting new project from Bentley Kyle Evans."

"For the past 24 years, our film festival has led the way in showcasing the work of Black artists and content creators," says Jeff Friday, festival founder and ABFF Ventures CEO . "We are thrilled to continue our partnership with UMC and very excited to support the 'Shoot Your Shot' Talent Search and upcoming 'Partners In Rhyme' series."

Executive Producer / Creator MC Lyte says, "It's an honor to be in business with UMC for 'Partners In Rhyme.' Teaming up with Bentley Evans and Harvest Studios made the creative process an amazing journey.  I'm even more excited that my production company, Sunni Gyrl , led by Lynn Richardson , who also serves as Executive Producer, has planted its feet in the production world. I'm excited to see all of the casting submissions and find our co-star."

Five finalists will be selected and notified on August 10th, 2020 , after which they will be invited to participate in the final round during the ABFF film festival where they must perform a scene from "Partners In Rhyme," as well as a rap verse in front of an audience and a panel of judges. The winner will be selected on the spot and will receive the co-starring role alongside MC Lyte in the new sitcom. The first episode of "Partners In Rhyme" will premiere exclusively at ABFF's 2021 film festival ahead of its official premiere on UMC later that year. For more information, please visit www.UMC.tv/ShootYourShot .

About UMC UMC is the first and largest subscription streaming service dedicated to Black TV and film from AMC Networks. UMC offers fresh original series, feature films, documentaries, stage plays and other popular Black entertainment with new and exclusive content added every week. Watch UMC on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Amazon Prime Video Channels, YouTube TV, Cox, Comcast's Xfinity On Demand, Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick and more. At www.UMC.tv , UMC offers a free 7-day trial and thereafter is just $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Keep up with UMC on Facebook at Facebook.com/UrbanMovieChannel  and on Twitter/Instagram @WatchUMC .

About the ABFF The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to recognizing black artists and showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. Committed to the belief that diverse artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to strengthen the black filmmaking community by encouraging resource sharing, education and artistic collaboration. Since then, the annual festival has become a cornerstone of diversity in Hollywood, providing a platform for emerging black artists—many of who have become today's most successful actors, producers, writers, directors, and stand-up comedians. The film festival is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC a multifaceted entertainment company producing events and content focused on African American culture and achievement. For more information, visit https://www.abff.com/

UMC Press Contact: Farah Noel,  fnoel@umc.tv  / Danny Astoria, dastoria@umc.tv


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