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 iconic rapper and announcer 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:
- A 3-minute profile video about themselves and their background;
- 2 contemporary monologue performances – 1 comedy, 1 drama;
- A rap performance of 1 verse of their choice (original or cover).
All submission items must be emailed together in one email to [email protected]. Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 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 10, 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, visit www.umc.tv/ShootYourShot.