LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group feature film division, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures (ESMP), is proud to announce its acquisition of global media rights to the award-winning and critically-acclaimed novel GHOST BOYS. Written by author Jewell Parker Rhodes (MAGIC CITY, PARADISE ON FIRE, TOWERS FALLING), GHOST BOYS won 2018’s «NAIBA (New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association) Book of the Year Award» as well as the «E.B. White Read Aloud Award.»
GHOST BOYS is a heartbreaking and powerful story about a Black boy killed by a White police officer, drawing connections through history, from award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes. GHOST BOYS tells the story of twelve-year-old Jerome, who is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, Jerome observes the devastation that has been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing. Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions. Author Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American Blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
The global media rights for GHOST BOYS were acquired by ESMP‘s Head of Acquisitions, Chris Charalambous, who will oversee the project with ESMP‘s EVP of Production & Content, Matthew Signer, and Executive Producers Byron Allen, Carolyn Folks, and Jennifer Lucas. The development and production of the GHOST BOYS movie will be done in conjunction with independent producers Amy Baer (LAST VEGAS, BRIAN BANKS, MARY SHELLEY) and Michael Besman (ABOUT SCHMIDT, SEVEN YEARS IN TIBET, BOUNCE). Baer’s associate, Chris Ceccotti, will serve as Executive Producer. The project is currently out to writers to adapt to screenplay.
«I first learned of GHOST BOYS from my daughter, who was reading it for a school class assignment, and I was immediately intrigued by the story and subject matter,» said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. «GHOST BOYS is simply a brilliant book, and we at Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures are extremely passionate about sharing this phenomenal story with the world.»
«Producer Amy Baer and I are thrilled to work with Byron Allen’s company,» said Producer Michael Besman. «We are delighted by Byron’s passion for this beautiful work.»
«I’m delighted Byron Allen’s movie division will create an inspiring feature film to empower us to be more empathetic and to ‘bear witness’ against social injustice,» said GHOST BOYS author Jewell Parker Rhodes. «Protecting all children’s innocence and humanity is paramount. I’m not surprised that it was an amazing youth, Mr. Allen’s daughter, who helped advocate for GHOST BOYS to become a movie. I’m thrilled and humbled to have GHOST BOYS adapted and transformed to a new life.»
About Allen Media Group / Entertainment Studios
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Allen Media Group/Entertainment Studios in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Raleigh. Allen Media Group owns 25 ABC-NBC-CBS-FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 19 U.S. markets and twelve 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 180 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, JUSTICE CENTRAL.TV, THEGRIO.TV, THIS TV, LOCAL NOW TV, and PATTRN. Allen Media Group will add its thirteenth network, THE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPANOL in 2021. Allen Media Group also owns LOCAL NOW and THE GRIO free–streaming AVOD services, powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. Allen Media Group also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 68 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. Allen Media Group International Television continues to extend its corporate branding and content around the globe. It currently has active license agreements and programming in South Africa, The United Arab Emirates, Australia, The Bahamas, Canada and New Zealand. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Allen Media Group provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, multimedia platforms, and the World Wide Web. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. ESMP released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, ESMP also released the critically-acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES, the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK and the sequel to 47 METERS DOWN, 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED. The digital distribution unit of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films.
In 2016, Allen Media Group purchased The Grio, a highly-rated digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African-Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. The Grio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 100 million annual visitors.
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SOURCE Allen Media Group