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Entertainment Studios Orders Drama ‘Up North’

Eight Episodes in Season One to Be Produced for Streaming Platforms The Grio and Local Now

Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has announced the acquisition of the SeriesFest 2017 Best Drama Pilot-winner “Up North” for is streaming platforms TheGrio and Local Now. Entertainment Studios will finance and distribute eight one-hour episodes of the scripted drama series to launch the first season. The logline: “Up North” digs into the brutal reality of the New York prison system, as an innocent teenager gets arrested for a crime he did not commit. The series looks at incarceration and inner-city life from various points of view, taking a deep look at New York’s flawed and corrupt prison system and the violent life that feeds it.

The “Up North” pilot in 2017 won four awards at the SeriesFest television festival — including Best Actor, Best Director, Best Pilot, and the Audience Award.

Byron Allen and Carolyn Folks will executive produce “Up North; ” and be written by Emil Pinnock and writing partner Ian Robertson, filmed by Director of Photography Eric Branco, and executive produced by Emil Pinnock & Ian Robertson along with Keith Patterson and Barry Tatelman. Chike Okonkwo and Haley Horsager are producing. The series features an ensemble cast of Eugene Clark, Gabriel Ellis, Robert Lewis, Ian Duff and Kris Lofton.

“The ‘Up North’ pilot episode is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen and the perfect scripted content to launch on our streaming platforms, including The Grio and Local Now,” said Entertainment Studios Executive Producer Carolyn Folks. “After bringing Emil Pinnock and his team in to meet with us, I was immediately impressed with his unwavering commitment to authenticity – which makes ‘Up North’ truly special.”

“I’m so glad to be leading the wave of independent television,” added Emil Pinnock. “I admire Byron Allen’s bold approach to creating and owning content, as well as Carolyn Folks’ tireless devotion to moving ‘Up North’ forward, and now we get to do it together. It’s surreal.”