Megamind Media, Kountry Wayne Entertainment Group launch epic joint venture
Laughing to the Bank Entertainment Group releases its first feature film, "Strange Love," on Amazon Prime
MegaMind Media and Kountry Wayne Entertainment is forming a joint-venture agreement between Tressa Azarel Smallwood and Dewayne “Kountry Wayne” Colley to launch Laughing to the Bank Entertainment Group to create both long and short form content for distribution.
Under the terms of the deal, announced Jan. 31, Laughing to the Bank will develop and package long and short form content for traditional and nontraditional distribution through a range of channels. Strange Love, which started streaming Feb. 14 on Prime Video, is the first project released through the new agreement. Executive produced by Colley, Smallwood, Donte Lee and Jermaine Smith, Strange Love is a direct-to-consumer release.
“I am excited to executive produce my first, hopefully of many, films through Kountry Wayne Entertainment,” says Colley. “Working with Tressa Azarel Smallwood and her team at MegaMind Media helped fulfill my dream of releasing my first film independently.”
Smallwood and MegaMind Media scored a string of recent successes at networks like BET, BET Her, BET+, TV One, and AMC AllBlk with diverse projects including: Sinners Wanted, "The Available Wife", and "All In", which received the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the American Black Film Festival in 2019. While meteoric is the only way to describe the ascension of Colley from his first viral Facebook post in 2014 to amassing over 10M combined followers on social media to being named by Variety as one of the 10 Comedians To Watch in 2021. Together Smallwood and Colley will develop, produce and finance projects through Laughing to the Bank.
“The opportunity to work with “Kountry” Wayne [Colley] piqued my interest immediately,” says Smallwood. He is an amazing talent and our business interests aligned, but when he wanted to keep the project as an independent feature, I welcomed that challenge.”
Strange Love is the perfect scarytale from Colley and Smallwood. Carl Anthony Payne ("Martin"), directs a cast that represents the blending of producer’s creativity. The cast is a mashup of established actors like Marquita Goings ("Woke") and Patrice Lovely ("Boo! A Madea Halloween") with social influencers like Michael "Mike Bless" Anthony ("Raising Dion") and Rolonda"Ro" Rochelle ("Chicago Fire")—from the popular “Kountry Wayne” sketches—and reality stars-turned-actors like Shirlene King ("Little Women: Atlanta") and Erica Pinkett ("Society Society"). Under Payne’s direction they create an original, raw, sexy, hilarious, entry to the comedy-horror genre. However, it is the unique perspectives brought to each project produced by Smallwood and Colley that holds so much promise for the future of Launching to the Bank.
Disclosures: The MMCA is an investor for Elevate Dayton. Nate Dillard, publisher of Elevate Dayton, is a partial owner of the BIPOCXChange. Linda Miller, editorial advisor to Elevate Dayton, is director of the Equitable Media and Economies Initiative, which is a joint project of MMCA and RJI.