by LP Green, II

Production began this week in Atlanta, GA on the UP Original Movie Marry Me For Christmas, a romantic home-for-the-holidays drama with Malinda Williams (“Soul Food,” co-host of ASPiRE’s “exhale,” The Undershepherd) headlining a talented ensemble cast and serving as an executive producer.

Marry Me For Christmas will premiere exclusively on UP on Saturday, December 14 at 7 p.m. EST, with encores at 9 and 11 p.m. EST. Produced by Eric Tomosunas’ Swirl Films and Malinda Williams, Roger Melvin (UP’sSugar MommasLove Will Keep Us Together) directs from a script by Rhonda Freeman-Baraka (UP’s Saving Westbrook High,Trinity Goodheart).

Along with Williams, the film’s ensemble cast includes Brad James (“For Better or Worse,” Prisoners), Tamara LaSeonBass (“Boston Public,” “The Fugitive”), Jason Weaver (“TheLeBrons,” “The Ladykillers”), Karon Riley (“Necessary Roughness,” “Single Ladies”), Deetta West (Between SistersJD Lawrence’s Community Service) and GregAlan Williams (“Necessary Roughness,” “The West Wing”) with Victoria Rowell (“Single Ladies,” “The Young and the Restless”).

Smart, stylish Marci Jewel (Malinda Williams) is the owner and creative director of an up-and-coming ad agency and thrilled with her single life in New York – except during the holidays. While all of her cousins are married and having babies, Marci remains the lone holdout in the large Chandler family clan who has put marriage and motherhood on hold for the sake of her career.

As the family’s epic Christmas celebration is about to start, Marci learns that her favorite cousin Dana (Tamera Bass), her husband Frankie (Jason Weaver) and their family are leaving the country for five years on missionary work. So at the last minute, Marci promises to come home for the holidays for the first time in years. With a deadline looming for a new client, she drags her employee Adam (Brad James) in tow to Atlanta and does the only thing she can do in the face of unbearable pressure from her ailing mom Stephanie (Victoria Rowell), aunt Myra (DeEtta West), uncle Donald (GregAlan Williams) and cousins: fakes a fiancé. While caught up in the family’s frenetic search for the perfect Christmas tree, unexpected wedding planning to her employee, pressing work calls and more, Marci learns some unexpected lessons about love, trust and family, particularly when it comes to her new faux fiancé Adam and old beau Blair (Karon Riley).

Marry Me For Christmas is a movie to bring every member of the family around the television together during the Christmas season,” said Barbara Fisher, svp, original programming, UP. “Malinda Williams leads an exceptional cast of actors who make up the extended, matrimonially-driven Chandler clan – the kind of family who deeply love each other, Christmas and family gossip – not necessarily in that order. We are happy to bring this wonderful, fun film to our viewers this holiday season.”

UP presents Marry Me For Christmas, a Swirl Films production. Starring Malinda Williams, Brad James, Tamera LaSeon Bass, Jason Weaver, Karon Riley, Deetta West and GregAlan Williams with Victoria Rowell. Directed by Roger Melvin. Produced by Eric Tomosunas, Keith Neal, David Eubank and Malinda Williams. Director of Photography is George Su. Editor is Charles Stewart. Written and produced by Rhonda Freeman-Baraka.

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