There’s nothing better than curling up on a cold winter’s night with a hot cup of cocoa and a bunch of great holiday movies in your queue. More and more networks and streaming services are catering to diverse audiences, meaning the selection of films featuring Black holiday stories this season is vast. As these holiday movies transform in front of the camera, more Black directors are coming to the forefront to helm films that tell our stories. 

EBONY chatted with three directors: Angela Tucker, Sheldon Epps and Victoria Rowell, who each directed the next holiday hit you'll want to binge again and again. In their own way, they are making sure the merry spirit we see on screen reflects all of us. 

A New Orleans Noel, Lifetime

It’s a trip to the bayou in A New Orleans Noel, directed by Angela Tucker. Keshia Knight Pulliam stars as architect Grace Hill, who’s hired to work on the home of praline queen Loretta Brown, played by the legendary Patti LaBelle. Once there, Grace learns she’s working with former college mate Anthony Brown (Brad James). The two initially clash, but Grace finds herself accepting an invitation from Anthony and his family for Christmas. There, she finds the magic of the season and has to decide whether her newfound emotions will keep her in New Orleans. LaBelle’s character is based on Loretta Harrison, the legendary chef and jazz fest vendor who was the first African American woman to own a praline company in the city. “I work in documentary and fiction filmmaking, so you see touches in there that are based on real life and Loretta, we took some pieces of her actual life and placed that in the script,” Tucker shares. The real Miss Loretta passed away from breast cancer early this year but had an opportunity to see the movie in production. "It was lovely that she could come to set and see a version of herself, played by Miss Patti,” Tucker recalls. “It was a very special moment.”

Christmas Party Crashers, BET+

Skye Townsend and Jaime M. Callica star as Tara and Tre in Christmas Party Crashers, young dreamers who will do anything to climb the ladder of success. Realizing they are both trying to crash the same high-end Christmas event to make connections, they team up to double their luck to advance their business aspirations, and possibly their love lives. “It’s a rom-com that happens to take place at Christmas,” director Sheldon Epps tells EBONY, “which makes it a lot prettier.” Epps shares a fun production detail about the film, which was filmed on location in Augusta, Georgia. For the influential family’s home they crash, “we actually couldn't find one mansion for all the different shots, so we used two!”

Blackjack Christmas, BET+

Soap opera veteran Victoria Rowell directs Blackjack Christmas. This holiday drama tells the story of two sisters, one who migrated to the United States and built a good life and one who stayed behind in their native Jamaica. When addiction threatens to tear the family apart, the sisters find their way back to one another and rebuild their bond. “This is a family tale of compassion and balm for the soul this holiday season,” Rowell shares. “One of my foster mothers, Barbara Sterling, came to America from Kingston, Jamaica, with a dream and three suitcases. Witnessing Barbara’s journey, self-determination and grit inspired me to write this family holiday drama.” Rowell also appreciates that BET+  is providing Black female directors the opportunity “to tell diverse stories with raw accuracy, making a way for undiluted black stories to be seen and heard in our various voices and dialects.” Blackjack Christmas premieres on the streaming service on December 15.