#NewFilm: Essence Atkins Makes Her Directorial Debut in TV One’s ‘Christmas Dilemma’


(SILVER SPRING, MD) – November 5, 2020 – TV One today announced the premiere date for its new original holiday film Christmas Dilemma marks the first project directed by Essence Atkins, and builds on the actor’s longstanding relationship with TV One.

As an actor, Atkins’ TV One credits include original films such as Girlfriend’s Getaway and its sequel, along with Coins For Christmas, and Coins For Love. Filmed in Atlanta, the movie stars BJ Britt (Being Mary JaneAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Brittany Hall (BallersSatisfaction) , Carl Anthony Payne II (Martin5th Ward), and Christopher B. Duncan (Black LightningThe Jamie Foxx Show).

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to collaborate with TV One once again to direct my first movie,” remarked Atkins. “I am immeasurably grateful for the opportunity to helm a film that I can declare I’m proud of. This entire experience has taught me so much and was a true delight.”

“This will undoubtedly be a different kind of holiday, so we thought an offbeat Christmas comedy was the perfect choice,” remarked Robyn Green Arrington, VP Programming and Production.

“Additionally, having consistency behind-the-scenes during this unpredictable time was a must, so working long-time production partner, Swirl was a no-brainer. Continuing our tradition of giving deserving and prepared talent an opportunity to diversify, made the decision to have Essence Atkins at the helm of this movie easy.” 

Christmas Dilemma follows a newlywed couple Jay (Britt) and Monica (Hall) as they struggle to decide which set of in-laws they should join for their first Christmas. After each pleads their case and even attempts a little trickery, they decide to bypass the guaranteed disappointment of picking one family over the other.

Unbeknownst to them, the decision is made for them when their families show up at their home unexpectedly. Drama ensues as the in-laws clash, long-lost relatives decide to make an appearance, and Jay’s grandmother joins the holiday festivities accompanied her caretaker who just happens to be Jay’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend.

Christmas Dilemma is produced for TV One by Swirl Films, with Eric G. Tomosunas and COO Robert A. Boyd II, serving as Executive Producers. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson and Keith Neal serve as producers for Swirl Films. For TV One, Jason Ryan is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell Kennedy-McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene Arrington is Vice President of Original

Christmas Dilemma is set for Sunday, December 6, 2020 at 7 P.M. ET/ 6C with an immediate encore at 9 P.M. ET/ 8C.

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