TV One announced today the 2017 American Black Film Festival (ABFF) TV One Screenplay Competition finalists. Each will receive an all-expense paid trip to this year’s ABFF in Miami (June 14-18). And during ABFF’s “Celebrity Scene Stealers” event on Friday, June 16, each finalist will direct a table read of a scene from their script, performed by professional actors participating in this year’s festival, in front of a live audience.

This year’s winner will be announced at the ABFF Filmmaker Ceremony on Sunday, June 18. The winner will earn a $5,000 cash prize and an opportunity to have their screenplay produced into an original, made-for-TV movie, which will debut in 2018 on TV One and at the 22nd Annual American Black Film Festival.

“Launched in 2015, the ABFF TV One Screenplay Competition was developed in partnership with the American Black Film Festival to encourage and find new talent and to look at television as an opportunity to get more screenplays made,” said D’Angela Proctor, TV One’s SVP, Original Programming & Production. “TV One is grateful to continue working with ABFF and to help foster new talent and fresh, original ideas.”

A brief overview of the TV One Screenplay Competition finalists scripts are as follows:

· “Down For Whatever,” a drama by Timothy Folsome: 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.

· “Mr. Wonderful,” a romantic comedy by Roni Brown: A biochemist has uncovered the perfect love potion to make sure her unwitting boyfriend becomes her husband.

· “The Replacement,” a thriller by Sade Sellers: An up-and-coming HR manager has her world turned upside down when her new co-worker tries to steal her life.

Meanwhile, last year’s ABFF Screenplay Competition finalist Michelle McKissic will debut her original film, “Downsized,” during this year’s festival on Friday, June 16 at The Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, FL 33139). The film is slated to premiere on TV One in August 2017.

In the film “Downsized,” Ebony and Michael were forced into a modern “shotgun” wedding after becoming teenage parents, putting their personal goals on hold in order to support their family. The two high school sweethearts manage to overcome the odds and establish a seemingly ideal life for themselves. However, the success that initially was meant to strengthen their family has become the very thing that is driving them apart. As a result, Michael desperately tries to hold onto everything he’s worked his entire life to gain. This leads the family on an unconventional adventure to restore the faith, hope, and trust that initially brought them together.

The film stars husband and wife duo Boris Kodjoe as Michael and Nicole Ari Parker as Ebony.

”Writers and projects like Michelle McKissick and Downsized are perfectly aligned with the TV One goal of representing all aspects of Black life, and affords us the chance to bring new creative voices to the forefront of the Black film world,” said Proctor.

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 tags #Represent and #ABFF17, and catch clips and promos on TV One’s YouTube Channel.