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‘Til Death Do Us Part’ cast and crew join the audience in NYC

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The American Black Film Festival hosts an advanced screening of independent thriller ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ followed by a Q&A session with the cast and crew.

‘Til Death Do Us Part’ is a suspenseful drama written and produced by singer and actor Marques Houston and his former manager Christopher B. Stokes. The film stars Annie Ilonzeh (Madison), Stephen Bishop (Michael) and Taye Diggs (Alex), among others. The main characters Madison and Michael Roland have what seems to be the perfect marriage, until, one day of anger and rage turns into many. It becomes an emotional and abusive roller-coaster Madison could no longer tolerate. With the help of her best friend, Madison takes extreme measures to escape from Michael, gains a new identity and new love for her neighbor… Alex. However, as the title says, Madison and Michael’s marriage is ‘til death do them part.

The movie hits theaters everywhere Friday, September 29. The timing for the movie release ironically coincides with Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, celebrated during the month of October. Following the movie, Stephen Bishop and Annie Ilonzeh were accompanied by members of the crew and Safe Horizon Domestic Violence representatives for a small Q &A session moderated by media strategist, Jocelyn R. Taylor. One question that stood out was how the actors’ and crew members’ involvement with ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ might influence their involvement with domestic violence awareness. Stephen Bishop vowed to participate in the purple nail challenge with the hashtag “#PutTheNailInIt.” While Vice President of Safe Horizon Domestic Violence Shelters, Kelly Coyne, also mentioned the nail challenge, she equally recommended other ways to bring awareness—since purple symbolizes domestic violence—purple clothing, flags or posters are also helpful. Yet, this same question further posed an intimate moment between leading actress, Annie Ilonzeh, and the audience when she shared previous experiences in an abusive relationship and how taking on the role of Madison helped to address her fears from the past. One of her key takeaways from playing Madison was learning:

“To not let the fear run me, but to run with it,” shared Ilonzeh.

According to the Center for Safety and Change, more than 10 million Americans are victims of physical violence annually. Women are the victims in 76 percent of those cases. If you or anyone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, please the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Jhone White-Lucas

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