Producer Lisa Mathis, President of Branch Out Productions — the all-female and African-American-owned production company debuts ‘Block Party — on June 8th!

I’m very excited to share information about the new film “Block Party” that stars Antoinette Robinson (“Dear White People”), Luenell (“Hacks”), Faizon Love (“Friday”), and the aforementioned Margaret Avery; directed by Dawn Wilkinson and set for a wide theatrical release via Iconic Events Releasing on June 8 and streaming by BET and BET+ starting June 16.

The film is produced by Branch Out Productions, a female-and African-American-owned production company, founded by Lisa Mathis, Lisa Oliver-King, and Andola Mathis, which is based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Producing alongside Mathis, Allen, and Suh are industry veterans Gabriel Roth and Marvin Towns Jr.

“Block Party” centers on Keke McQueen (Antoinette Robertson), a recent Harvard grad who is eager to ditch her hometown of Grand Rapids, MI, for her dream job in Atlanta. But when Keke discovers that her once-super-sharp Grandma Janice (Academy Award nominee Margaret Avery) is showing early signs of dementia, she puts her career at stake to save Grandma’s beloved Juneteenth Block Party, even if it means dealing with her Black tiger mom (Golden Brooks), her gossipy relatives (Luenell, Birgundi Baker), an oddball fire marshal (Faizon Love), and her ex-boyfriend (Terayle). In the process, Keke falls back in love with her hometown.

The film also stars Charlyne Yi, John Amos, Gary Anthony Williams, Brad William Henke, Bill Cobbs, and Merle Dandridge. Branch Out Productions’ Lisa Mathis wrote the script and story with Krista Suh & Matt Allen, who are also both producers. The film is also being produced by BuzzFeed Studios.

Let’s pause and marinate on the fact that this comedy is produced by Branch Out Productions, an all-female-and African-American-owned production company. Please, re-read what’s written above because it’s important. I mean, it’s a big deal because, in Hollywood, where gifted sisters and brothers are still fighting to get their work seen and heard, the women of Branch Out Productions are making it happen. No apologies, just results.

I jumped on the opportunity to interview Lisa Mathis, who is president of Branch Out Productions and the producer and co-screenwriter on “Block Party.” She shares the story credit with screenwriters Krista Suh & Matt Allen, who are also both producers.

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