Inspired by a true-life story, Tonesa Welch is a middle-class woman, raised in 1980s Detroit, who becomes seduced by the limelight and adventure of being in the drug game. Tonesa meets H, an older, sophisticated head of a drug organization who gives her a taste of the good life. But when H gets locked up, Tonesa forges a new path with a young, trusted confidante (Southwest T). Together, they build a notorious drug empire that puts Tonesa on a path of crime, drugs, infidelity, deception, and redemption.
The new true-life biopic will premiere on October 5, and stream exclusively on BET+.
- Cast: Michelle Mitchenor, Tobias Truvillion, Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore, Kellie Williams, Leon, Tristin Fazekas, Faith Malonte and Daphnique Springs
- Director: Vivica A. Fox
- Writers: Gabrielle Collins and Tressa Smallwoo
- Produced by: MegaMind Media
- Executive Producers: Tressa Smallwood and Judge Greg Mathis
- Genre: Drama / Biopic / True Crime
|In her feature film directorial debut, Vivica A. Fox pulls powerful performances from Mitchenor and her co-lead Tobias Truvillion(“Best Man:The Final Chapter”), to show the complexities of living in and leaving a toxic relationship, all while building a criminal empire.
After a quick courtship, Tonesa and H become a modern day Bonnie and Clyde until the relationship turns more like Celie and Mister from The Color Purple. At first a willing teacher and mentor, soon H becomes insecure and violent. Eventually, his abusive nature drives Tonesa into the waiting arms of Terry Flenory or Southwest T, played by newcomer Faith Malonte (Power & Money). Leon (“City On A Hill”) plays a stern midwestern stepfather married to Tonesa’s loving, doting and enabling mother played by Kellie Williams (A Family Matters Christmas). Together they struggle to raise an overly entitled daughter while caring for her children, their grandchildren. Comedians Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore and Daphnique Springs (The Matchmaker) get serious for their roles as Tonesa’s ride-or-die Detroit homegirls, rounding out this strong multigenerational cast.
Like the irony in every Shakespearean tragedy, while Tonesa is on the rise to wealth and power she is simultaneously at times a drug-addicted and often battered wife. Hers is a typical toxic love story laced with bad decisions compounded by poor choices that eventually leads to a tragic downfall, ensnaring her sons and family members in an ongoing criminal conspiracy.
Filmed in the Washington, D.C. area, First Lady Of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story is executive produced by Tressa Azarel Smallwood (who also serves as co-writer) and Judge Greg Mathis for MegaMind Media. It is the ninth feature film produced by MegaMind Media to be filmed in the Washington, D.C. / Maryland / Virginia area, affectionately known as “The DMV.”