Four 30-something college sorority sisters go on what’s supposed to be a fun, relaxing “Black Greek” beach weekend. But when the women fall victim to some unsettling pranks, they begin to worry that something sinister is going on, perhaps connected to a tragedy in their past.
That’s the premise of “Line Sisters,” a dramatic thriller that also explores the complexity of Black female friendships and which premieres 8 p.m. Saturday on the Lifetime cable network. It re-airs 6 p.m. Feb. 19.
The movie shot in Wilmington in 2021 and features a number of area locations, including downtown and the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus.
It’s the latest Wilmington-shot production to hit the screen in 2022 after a year that broke records for the film industry, both locally and statewide. “Line Sisters” is also one of three productions from last year, along with FOX TV drama “Our Kind of People” and Hallmark movie “Christmas in Harmony,” to focus on telling the stories of Black people.
“Line Sisters” is, at its heart, a fun, fast-paced thriller from director Tailiah Breon and writers Jasmine S. Greene and Scott Mullen. But one of the movie’s producers, D’Angela Proctor, said the idea was to mix meaning with the mayhem.
“It was always designed to explore the relationships between Black women,” Proctor said. “There are always too few stories about Black women. It is always my responsibility and my goal to tell more of those stories.”
In “Line Sisters,” the women include no-nonsense, professional Valerie, played by LeToya Luckett, a founding member of singing group Destiny’s child; sweet, trusting Cassandra, played by gospel singer and actress Kierra Sheard-Kelly; fun, flaky Dominique, played by Drew Sidora (“The Real Housewives of Atlanta”); and the tough, confrontational Simona, played by Ta’Rhonda Jones (TV’s “Empire”).
The friends pledged the Alpha Beta Omega sorority together 15 years ago, when a deadly tragedy changed the trajectory of their lives and tested their friendships.
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With the score’s occasional strings-heavy shades of “Psycho” and a mysterious character creeping around in a black hoodie and creepy white mask, there’s plenty of intrigue. It all comes to a head during a Black Greek weekend that Proctor said was modeled on the annual Spelman College/Morehouse College (“SpelHouse”) gatherings in Atlanta. (Wilmington stands in for the Outer Banks in the movie.)
“Line Sisters” features an almost entirely Black cast and references some stark racial realities. When the women call the police to their beach rental to investigate some strange goings-on, the white cops are dismissive, with one officer played by Wilmington actress Kaitlin Baden giving the women a tight smile to say they can call again if needed: “Or, don’t.”
Wilmington locations can be seen throughout “Line Sisters.” They include the University of North Carolina Wilmington campus and the Delta Sigma Theta sorority house on North Seventh Street downtown.
The women meet for drinks at the Marina Grill on the Wilmington Riverwalk during scenes when the Battleship North Carolina can be seen in the background. (The friends taunt some rival sorority sisters with a dance choreographed by Wilmington’s Kevin Lee-Y Green.)
The fancy beach house the women stay in is located on Masonboro Sound, and other scenes were shot in Smith Creek Park.
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Proctor said working during the pandemic made the shoot challenging at times, especially in terms of finding extras and locking down locations.
At the end of the day, however, even though “Line Sisters” tackles some serious subjects, from infertility to domestic violence, “We wanted the movie to be fun,” Proctor said. “You can have medicine in the food but the food better taste good.”
“Line Sisters” premieres 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, on the Lifetime cable network. It re-airs 6 p.m. Feb. 19.
Contact John Staton at 910-343-2343 or [email protected]