Angela Tucker Directs “A New Orleans Noel” World Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival 2022
Updated: Nov 2, 2022
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Winner Angela Tucker Directs “A New Orleans Noel”
Starring Keisha Knight Pulliam and Patti LaBelle, Executive Produced by Whoopi Goldberg
World Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival, Nov. 5th
National Broadcast Premiere on Lifetime, Dec. 3rd
Christmas wishes came true this past year for director/writer Angela Tucker (Emmy-winning producer of Belly of the Beast), when Lifetime chose her to direct and co-write the new film A NEW ORLEANS NOEL. The film will make its World Premiere at New Orleans Film Festival on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. CT at Second Line Stages (Tickets will be available for purchase by the public starting Friday, October 21, at 12 p.m. CT), followed by its National Broadcast Premiere on Lifetime as part of the cable network’s annual “It's a Wonderful Lifetime” original programming on Saturday, Dec. 3rd at 8 p.m./7 p.m. Central. Legendary entertainer Patti LaBelle gets into the holiday spirit starring with Keshia Knight Pulliam (Married at First Sight: Afterparty) in A New Orleans Noel, her fourth holiday film for the network, which also features Tim Reid, and Pulliam’s real-life husband, Brad James. Pulliam produced alongside Executive Producer Whoopi Goldberg (Caught in His Web) on her second Lifetime film this year.
A New Orleans Noel (synopsis): Grace Hill (Keshia Knight Pulliam) and Anthony Brown (Brad James) could not be more different. Despite having gone to college to study architecture together, their lives took them on completely separate paths. However, when they’re both hired to work together on the home of Loretta Brown (Patti LaBelle)—a New Orleans praline icon —the two find themselves working together at Christmas...and butting heads over more than just architecture. When Anthony and his family discover that Grace will be celebrating Christmas alone, they invite her to take part in their traditions and their celebrations. Soon, fiercely independent Grace begins to learn the importance of family and community, while modern Anthony learns to embrace tradition and the magic of Christmas. But when Grace is offered a new job far away from New Orleans she’ll have to decide if she’ll leave, or follow her heart. Tim Reid stars as Marcel Lirette, a handsome, retired friend who moves back to town after years away and catches the eye of Lorretta. A New Orleans Noel is produced by Evergreen Films with Daniel Lewis, Rick Carter, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Leonardis and Keshia Knight Pulliam serving as Executive Producers. Script by Angela Tucker and Alys Murray, and directed by Angela Tucker.
Before she directed A New Orleans Noel, Angela found solace in watching Christmas movies after her father passed away on Christmas Eve in 2003. It was a huge loss for her as she had the fondest memories with her dad and family celebrating the holidays when she was a child growing up in Manhattan. To help her heal from her loss, she found the magic of the holidays again by spreading her love of these films to her followers on Instagram. Through her Stories, she would record videos of herself giving reviews of these films, none of which she has ever given a grade lower than B-.
Soon after moving from New York City to New Orleans in 2014, it was kismet, as Angela was about to receive the greatest Christmas gift ever. She would go from reviewing Christmas movies, to making one. She soon met a member of Film Fatales (an inclusive community of women feature film and television directors), who approached her to direct a Christmas movie featuring an African-American family, and they wanted the film to be directed by an African-American director, and soon after, she was interviewed by Lifetime to direct and she won the job. Lifetime also saw the project as a film for Pulliam to star. Angela and Alys Murray co-wrote the script, which is loosely based on Tucker’s own loss of her father at Christmas, and finding joy in the holiday spirit with new families. Additionally, Patti LaBelle’s character, “Loretta,” is also based on the late Loretta Harrison, lovingly referred to as “The Praline Queen.” Harrison, who was the chef and owner of the historic Loretta's Authentic Pralines, passed away surrounded by loved ones on February 16, 2022.
Once the script for A New Orleans Noel was completed, the film was to go into production right before the COVID-19 pandemic began, but unfortunately had to be put on hold for two years. Filming finally began in December of 2021.
“I've spent my whole life loving Christmas movies. They've gotten me through many hard times. I always had a dream that I would make one and now I can't believe that this dream has come true! I am so grateful to the team at Lifetime for having faith in me, Alys Murray for co-writing with her usual passion and joy and Daniel Lewis and Misty Talley of Evergreen Productions for all of the incredible work that they've done to make this happen. Keisha Knight Pulliam was a dream lead and having Patti LaBelle as Loretta is just beyond what I could have ever hoped for. I wanted to make a love letter to my new home, New Orleans, and to highlight the life of an incredible local icon, Loretta S. Harrison of Loretta’s Pralines. I hope that audiences feel the joy and love behind the film,” said A New Orleans Noel director Angela Tucker.
Acclaimed for her work in both the nonfiction and fiction genres, Angela’s directorial projects include THE TREES REMEMBER, a series in collaboration with REI Co-Op Studios and of course now, A NEW ORLEANS NOEL. Past work includes “All Skinfolk, Ain’t Kinfolk,” a documentary short which aired on PBS’ Reel South; All Styles, a dance narrative feature available on Showtime. “Black Folk Don’t,” a documentary web series featured in Time Magazine’s “10 Ideas That Are Changing Your Life,” and “(A)sexual,” a feature-length documentary about people who experience no sexual attraction that streamed on Netflix and Hulu. She was a producer of "Belly of the Beast" (dir. Erika Cohn), which broadcast on PBS' Independent Lens, was a New York Times Critics’ Pick and was nominated for a Peabody and four Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary.
She is a former Sundance Institute Women's Fellow, a recipient of Firelight Media's inaugural William Greaves Fund and a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. As founder of TuckerGurl Inc., a boutique production company in New Orleans, Angela is passionate about stories that highlight underrepresented communities in unconventional ways. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University and BA from Wesleyan University, as well as a Certificate in Arts and Culture from The School for International Training in Ghana, West Africa. She is represented by Corrine Aquino and Haley Jones at Artists First.
Angela’s upcoming projects include: The Inquisitor, a feature-length documentary that explores the challenges of Black patriotism through the story of Barbara Jordan, the first African American elected to the Texas Senate, the first female representative from Texas, and the first Southern African American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives; The fiction series Tinder on the Rez. For this, she made the Blacklist’s Inaugural Indigenous List along with her co-writer and friend Brooke Pepion Swaney; and the fiction feature film Paper Chase, centering on an ideal-driven, well-meaning New Orleans teenager ready to reinvent herself at the fictional Kensington University in Atlanta.
Angela is also available for public speaking engagements and consultation projects.
For more information on Angela Tucker, visit: https://www.tuckergurl.com/
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