First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story on BET+- Release date, synopsis, and more

First Lady Of BMF: The Tonesa Welch Story
A still from American Gangster: Trap Queens season 206 (Image via BET)

The genre of American crime dramas has received the alert for a Black Mafia Family chapter with BET+'s First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story.

Set to make its debut on October 5, 2023, the film brings to light a dramatized version of the life of the First Lady of Detroit’s kingpin Black Mafia Family. The story comes after Starz aired 50 Cent’s BMF series which featured Demetrius Flenory Jr., Russell Hornsby, and Michole Briana White among others.

The upcoming biopic by BET+ has been directed by Vivica A. Fox from the fame of Lifetime crime drama series, Missing. First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story has been executive produced by Tressa Smallwood and Judge Greg Mathis.


BET+ brings the story of the extraordinary career of Tonesa Welch in her biopic

First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story explores the extraordinary life of Tonesa Welch and her role in the Black Mafia Family - a subject that has received a close look in the Starz hit show Randy Huggins's BMF with the story of Demetrius and Terry Flenor being explored in depth.

BET+ released an exclusive trailer for the upcoming film on September 27, 2023. The trailer showcases the storyline of the film aptly as it features Michelle Mitchenor as the lead character of Tonesa Welch - a middle-class woman from Detroit in the 1980s who climbs the ladder of the city’s drug ring and eventually becomes a key player of the Black Mafia Family.

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The synopsis for First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story on IMDb reads the same with reference to the origin of her nickname,

"Inspired by a true-life story, Tonesa Welch is a middle-class woman, raised in 1980s Detroit, who becomes seduced by the limelight and adventure of being in the drug game. Tonesa meets H, an older, sophisticated head of a drug organization who gives her a taste of the good life. But when H gets locked up, Tonesa forges a new path with a young, trusted confidante (Southwest T). Together, they build a notorious drug empire that puts Tonesa on a path of crime, drugs, infidelity, deception, and redemption."

First Lady of BMF: The Tonesa Welch story has been directed by Vivica A. Fox while Gabrielle Collins, from the fame of American Gangster Presents: Big 50 - The Delrhonda Hood Story, has written the story for the screen.

So far, the trailer gives us a taste of Welch's success and her difficult relationship with H, the person who introduced her to the high-stakes game of drug dealership. As seen in the trailer itself, Mitchenor's character says,

"That night changed everything it was like I stepped into a revolving door and came out another woman."

Welch meets H and is curious to know more about his world of drug dealing and money laundering business. Once H is put behind bars, Welch builds an empire of her own with her trustworthy partner Southwest T, initially to fill in H's absence, but later on to prove her worth, as she is seen to be physically assaulted by H in the trailer.

As Welch says in the trailer,

"I wish I could tell you this was all a bad dream but it wasn't the story I'm about to tell you is all true."

The film will include Tobias Truvillion, Kellie Shanygne Williams, Leon, Faith Malonte, Tristin Fazekas, Jessica “Jess Hilarious” Moore, and Daphnique Springs in supporting roles.

The BET+ Original has been produced by MegaMind Media. It will be released on October 5, 2023

Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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