Filmmakers to premiere BronxNet TV series about beauty standards and the immigrant experience

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BronxNet creators Kobina de Graft-Johnson and Jasmine Patrice White will premiere the first episode of their TV series “#Stressed” on BronxNetTV. The series, which probes the immigrant experience and critiques the model of American beauty, will star Abena Mensah-Bonsu as Ashanti, a Ghanaian-born to immigrant parents and plus-sized digital influencer.

In the series’ premiere episode, Ashanti enters the world of beauty pageants only to clash with the stereotypical pageant body type. The series will see Ashanti attempting to navigate the seeming chasm between her vision of success in the beauty space and her parents’ notion of career success. 

Creator and screenwriter of "#Stressed," Jasmine White. Photo courtesy Audrey Duncan.
Creator and screenwriter of “#Stressed,” Jasmine White.Photo courtesy Audrey Duncan
Director of "#Stressed," Kobina de Graft Johnson. Photo courtesy Audrey Duncan
Director of “#Stressed,” Kobina de Graft JohnsonPhoto courtesy Audrey Duncan

“#Stressed” is the latest project of director Kobina de Graft-Johnson and creator and screenwriter Jasmine Patrice White, both of whom are no stranger to the media scene.

de Graft-Johnson is the founder, CEO and director of photography at Anibok Studios, where he uses his expertise — a repertoire of over 100 films that primarily address Ghanaian narratives — to craft innovative films. The Ghanaian-born director’s project “Barely Made” won Best TV and Web Series at the 2023 London Pan African Film Festival.

White also approached “#Stressed” with a breadth of experience; she has been a development executive at Lifetime TV for culturally influential projects like “Surviving R. Kelly,” “Surviving Epstein” and “Mahalia.”

For storytellers and cultural shifters like de Graft-Johnson and White, two of 10 BronxNet artists supported by artist employment program Creatives Rebuild New York, BronxNet is both a resource and platform for creative development.

BronxNet Executive Director Michael Max Knobbe elaborated on the organization’s ambitions

“BronxNet provides storytellers and media makers with the tools, technologies, and platforms to create and launch original new shows that connect us, like this dramatic series about the African immigrant experience in NYC, ‘#Stressed.’”

The series will premiere in-person Thursday, June 6, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at 441 Westchester Ave. The broadcast premiere of “#Stressed” will take place on Wednesday, June 19, at 9:30 p.m. on BronxNet channels 67 Optimum/2133 Fios and at

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