Following screenings at top tier festivals like SXSW in March, and the Los Angeles Film Festival last month, TV One has set a fall premiere date (Sunday, October 23 at 7 p.m. ET, with an encore at 9 p.m. ET) for writer/director Stella Meghie’s feature debut, the dramedy “Jean of the Joneses,” which stars Taylour Paige, Sherri Shepherd, Gloria Reuben, Erica Ash, Michelle Hurst, Mamoudou Athie, and Francois Arnaud.
In the film, chaos ensues after the estranged patriarch of the Jones family dies on their doorstep. When the paramedic who answers their 911 call tries to win over acerbic Jean Jones, his attempts are disrupted by old conflicts that come to a boil at the funeral.
“Jean” made its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in March of this year, where it received favorable reviews from critics and audiences alike.
Justin Chang at Variety summarized his critique as follows: “The messy lives of young aspiring writers and the dysfunctional families that spawned them have long provided fertile if inevitably over-tilled material for many an independent filmmaker. If “Jean of the Joneses” feels fresher than most multigenerational ensemble dramedies, credit not only the relative novelty of an all-black, mostly female cast, but also writer-director Stella Meghie’s talent for suggesting the invisible bonds that unite her characters, despite their many disagreements and (in some cases) general disagreeability. Inspired by her own family life though not strictly autobiographical, Meghie’s endearingly acerbic debut feature is a work of modest ambition and commercial outlook, but that modesty proves intrinsic to its appeal, which deserves to be discovered at more stops along the festival circuit following its SXSW premiere.”
The film was also good enough for CAA to sign Ms. Meghie for representation in all areas. She’s currently developing an adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” which is set up at MGM studios, with Amandla Stenberg attached to star. Meghie is also developing a pilot for Warner Bros TV.
“I was so fortunate to work with TV One on my first feature film. I couldn’t have had a more creatively supportive team than Karen Peterkin, D’Angela Proctor and Brad Siegel,” said Meghie in a press statement. “I’m so proud of ‘Jean of the Joneses’ and excited to present it TV One’s audience.”
“Jean of the Joneses” is the feature film debut of the Toronto native who was born to a Jamaican family, whose earlier career was in fashion and beauty PR in New York City, before she made the switch to filmmaking.
Amos Adetuyi, Stella Meghie and Floyd Kane serve as Producers, and the film is executive produced by Elizabeth Cullen and Sean Dwyer.
For TV One, Karen Peterkin is Executive in Charge-of-Production and Director of Scripted Original Programming; Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting; Robyn Greene-Arrington is VP of Original Programming; and D’Angela Proctor is Head of Original Programming.