EXCLUSIVE: Pastor, author and filmmaker T.D. Jakes has signed on as an executive producer of Lifetime’s upcoming foster care film I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story. Moved by Regina Louise and her harrowing story navigating the broken system, the network says Jakes joined the movie as an EP to bring additional attention to the need for foster care reform.
In addition, Lifetime has partnered with several youth and adoption organizations (Dave Thomas Foundation, National Foster Parent Association, Better Youth, Administration for Children’s Services: NYC, Child and Family Policy Institute of California, Champs; Children Need Amazing Parents, Promise House, Seneca Family of Agencies, You Gotta Believe) on a PSA that will air during the movie’s April 20 premiere on Lifetime. You can watch it and a trailer for the film below.
I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story, based on Louise’s books Somebody’s Someone and Someone has Led this Child to Believe, stars Ginnifer Goodwin and newcomer Angela Fairley alongside Kim Hawthorne, Sherri Saum and Monique Coleman. It tells the journey of a young African American girl (Fairley) who navigated over 30 foster homes and psychiatric facilities before age 18, and the one woman, Jeanne (Goodwin), who believed in her. After Jeanne’s unsuccessful attempt to adopt Regina due to a racially motivated ruling, their bond is forced apart. I Am Somebody’s Child is Regina’s story of how one woman’s belief and love becomes her lifeline as she defeated the odds of a corrupt system and succeeded. Twenty-five years later, Jeanne is finally able to adopt Regina in the same courthouse that denied them previously.
Howard Braunstein, Yvonne Chotzen, T.D. Jakes, Derrick Williams and Goodwin executive produce. Co-executive producers are Andrea Buchanan and Regina Louise. Janice Cooke directs from a teleplay by Camille Thomasson, based on the books.
On April 17 in Los Angeles, Lifetime and Better Youth will host a special screening of the movie with cast for youth in foster care, their caregivers, guests from CASA LA and other organizations at The LA Film School. It will be preceded by a panel featuring special guests and the young filmmakers of Real to Reel Global Youth Film Festival, a Better Youth community-based platform and production internship track.
I Am Somebody’s Child is the latest project in the network’s efforts to bring attention to social issues that women care about. Last year, Lifetime relaunched Stop Violence Against Women with a PSA featuring survivors Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano, Amanda Nguyen, and Kitti Jones. It aired in October during domestic violence awareness month, then again throughout January during the airing of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries, leading to a surge of calls to sexual assault hotlines and leading many women to come forward to talk about their own abuse and seek help.
In 2017, Lifetime premiered its Emmy-nominated movie Flint, which placed a spotlight on the on-going water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Other areas Lifetime has spotlighted as part of its advocacy work include teen suicide and depression, transgender rights and human trafficking.
Jakes is the pastor of The Potter’s House, a non-denominational American megachurch. His church services and evangelistic sermons are broadcast on The Potter’s Touch, which airs on Lightsource.com, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment Television, the Daystar Television Network and The Word Network. He previously hosted The T.D. Jakes Show, a nationally syndicated talk show which was produced by Tegna Media and distributed by NBC.
I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story premieres Saturday, April 20 at 8 PM on Lifetime.