4 original films skedded for BET Movies/Starz!3 preems

Freeman, Woodard, Van Peebles to star in different pix

NEW YORK — New pay cabler BET Movies/Starz!3 announced a slate of four original films featuring thesps such as Morgan Freeman, Alfre Woodard, Loretta Devine, CCH Pounder, Hill Harper and Melvin Van Peebles.

Freeman will host an original documentary, “Scandalize My Name,” which will examine the way Red Scare politics was used to impede the emergence of blacks as full participants in the political, social and cultural aspects of postwar American life. The film is scheduled to premiere on the cable channel in February 1999.

“Loving Jezebel,” which stars Harper, is already in production and is planned for theatrical release in 1999. The story revolves around a helpless romantic who repeatedly finds himself falling in love with other men’s women. Kwyn Bader, who penned the script, will direct the film.

Woodare, Devine, Pounder and Tom Wright will star in “Funny Valentine,” which will premiere on BET Movies in February 1999. Directed by Julie Dash, the film is about a childhood friendship between cousins that deepens over the years. The film is co-produced with Studios USA Pictures.

“Classified X,” written and performed by Van Peebles, will premiere on BET Movies on Nov. 13 and will serve as the cornerstone of a month-long “Message from Melvin” salute.

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