Chris Stokes is an American filmmaker and former record executive. He was the founder of the Ultimate Group record label in 2000, whose roster included B2K, Omarion, Jhené Aiko, Marques Houston, IMx and NLT, among others.
Stokes first became connected with film and television through the talent he managed. In 1992, Marques Houston made his acting debut in the animated comedy film Bébé's Kids, and received his big break as a regular on Sister, Sister in 1994. All three members of Immature appeared in the film House Party 3 (1994).
Stokes' first film credit came in 2001 as the writer and director of House Party 4, which starred Immature, which by then had transitioned to their new name IMx. He was the writer and director of the 2004 dance movie You Got Served, starring members of his TUG record label. The cast included Lil' Kim and Marques Houston.
In 2007 Stokes launched a clothing and fashion line, the Christopher Brian Collection, which debuted at Magic in Las Vegas February 2007. The line featured Kim Kardashian as the principal spokesmodel and was available at Dash, her Calabasas boutique. Promotional images for the brand featured topless pictures of Kim Kardashian wearing just the Christopher Brian pants.
He also wrote and directed Somebody Help Me and Somebody Help Me 2, two horror films. The first, Somebody Help Me, was released to DVD on November 13, 2007, and made a television premiere on BET on Halloween 2007. Both were distributed by Vivendi. The company's second feature, No Vacancy, another horror, was completed in 2011 and the first of Stokes' films not star talent from his music career. It was distributed by Grindstone / Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Also in 2011, Stokes returned to the dance battle genre with the dance-drama Battlefield America, starring Marques Houston, Gary Anthony Sturgis, and Lynn Whitfield. The film follows a young businessman whose community service obligations require him to turn a group of misfit kids into a dance team.
In 2018 it was announced Chris Stokes signed a 3-picture deal with Viacom, "We Belong Together", "Running Out of Time", and "Fall Girls". "We Belong Together" launched BET Network's original movie franchise by premiering simultaneously on BET and BET Her, produced by Chris Stokes' Footage Films production company. In August 2019, BET+ announced a new legal thriller "Sacrifice", to be written, directed, and produced by Chris Stokes through his Footage Films production company, and starring Paula Patton. In May 2020, Stokes' new musical series "Howard High", starring Marques Houston debuts on subscription-based platform UrbanflixTV.
In 2020, BET+ acquired "Trigger", directed by Stokes. It is set to be released this summer as a BET Original on their streaming platform. Also this summer, BET picked up thriller "Always and Forever", directed by Stokes and starring Lauren London, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Deborah Ayorinde, Rocsi Diaz, Wood Harris and Loretta Devine. In September 2020, BET+ announced that it would turn its original film "Sacrifice" into a series, ordering 10 episodes to be written, directed, and produced by Stokes.
Chris Stokes announced in 2021 that Footage Films was greenlit to produce a new series, Foster Law, for the emerging black streaming network UrbanFlix.
In 2023, Stokes released the third installment of The Stepmother, marking the first three-movie franchise in Tubi's history. Each movie follows Elizabeth Carter (Erica Mena)'s escapades the find the perfect family and stars a recurring Stokes cast, including Marques Houston. Tubi released four new original Black cinema thrillers by Chris Stokes in 2023, “The Assistant,” “Best Friend,” “You’re Not Alone” and “No Way Out.”
Sexual assault allegations
In December 2007, Stokes was accused of sexual assault by his cousin, B2K member DeMario "Raz-B" Thornton, alleged to have happened while Stokes was managing the group and Thornton was eleven or twelve years old. B2K group member Omarion defended Stokes, calling the allegations untrue. Stokes denied any wrongdoing, calling the accusation "ridiculous" and saying "all the allegations they made are false." The following day, Thornton retracted the allegation and apologized to Stokes, though Thornton's brother Ricardo implied the retraction was coerced and that Thornton will "come back around."
In July 2008, Vibe magazine published an article in which singer Quindon Tarver, once signed to Stokes' TUG label, alleged he had been sexually abused by Stokes for four years, beginning at age twelve. Stokes called the accusations from both Thornton and Tarver "a cry for attention" and denied the allegations.
|2001||House Party 4||Writer, Director||Cameo appearance as "Ray Ray"|
|2004||You Got Served||Writer, Director|
|2007||Somebody Help Me||Writer, Director, Producer|
|2010||Somebody Help Me 2||Writer, Director, Producer|
|2012||Battlefield America||Writer, Director, Producer|
|The Helpers||Writer, Director, Producer|
|Boogie Town||Writer, Director, Producer|
|2016||Only for One Night||Director|
|2017||'Til Death Do Us Part||Writer, Director|
|2018||Always & 4Ever||Writer, Director|
|We Belong Together||Writer, Director||BET Television Movie|
|Running Out Of Time||Writer, Director|
|2019||Fall Girls||Writer, Director|
|Sacrifice||Writer, Director||BET Original|
|2020||Howard High||Director||TV Mini-Series|
|Always and Forever||Writer, Director||BET Television Movie|
|2022||The Stepmother||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|The Stepmother 2||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|2023||Asssistant||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|Best Friend||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|You're Not Alone||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|No Way Out||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|The Stepmother 3||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|Picture Me Dead||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|Rock the Boat||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|Vicious Affair||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
|Still Here||Writer, Director||Tubi Original|
- "Chris Stokes Retains Tobin & Associates as The Ultimate Group Prepares to Explode". PRWeb. July 26, 2002.
- Kehr, Dave (January 30, 2004). "You Got Served (2004) FILM REVIEW; A Hip-Hop Dance Team Duels Some Menacing White Boys". The New York Times.
- Bailey, Samantha (February 2, 2017). "Director Chris Stokes joins cause for film/television industry change". rollingout.com.
- Christopher Stokes Reveals Plans Behind Clothing Line Debut. Fashion Victim, Dennicas's Place. Dennicasplace.com Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
- Take Cover: Kim Kardashian. J'Adore Magazine, November 2007. Jadoremag.com Archived July 14, 2014, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
- "Kim drops top, hopes you shop". EHM Productions. June 2, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2023.
- Who Is Chris Stokes. ChrisStokesLife.com. Chrisstokeslife.com Retrieved July 3rd, 2014.
- No Vacancy, 2012 on IMDb. Internet Movie Database
- Chris Stokes directing 1st of 3-picture deal with Viacom. Rollingout.com, April 2018. . Retrieved April 30th, 2020.
- BET Networks kicks-off its original movie franchise with the world premiere of "We Belong Together". BET Press, June 12, 2018. . Retrieved April 30th, 2020.
- BET+ press release announces Sacrifice to premiere Thursday, December 19. BET+ Press Room, August 15, 2019. . Retrieved April 30th, 2020.
- 'Howard High' Trailer: This inspiring musical drama is going to be this generation's 'Fame'. Hollywoodlife.com, April 17, 2019. . Retrieved April 30th, 2020.
- BET to air Chris Stokes directed Trigger this summer. ChrisStokesBlog.com, July 2020. . Retrieved July 13th, 2020.
- Chris Stokes directed Always and Forever gets picked up by [BET] on their cable channel and UMC network. July 2020.  Retrieved July 13th, 2020.
- BET+ Movie ‘Sacrifice’ Starring Paula Patton Picked Up To Series. Deadline.com, September 28, 2019. . Retrieved January 1st, 2021.
- UrbanFlix greenlights new series! Footage Films & Director Christopher B. Stokes Continue To Illuminate The Screen With Brian White In The New Series “Foster Law”. September 2021.  Retrieved September 27th, 2021.
- bandsaboutmovies (June 9, 2023). "TUBI ORIGINAL: The Stepmother 3 (2023)". B&S About Movies. Retrieved September 15, 2023.
- Zee, Michaela (June 9, 2023). "Tubi to Launch Four New Original Black Cinema Thrillers From Footage Films (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved November 4, 2023.
- Kaufman, Gil (December 26, 2007). "B2K Ex-Manager and Group Member Omarion Speak Out on Allegations". MTV.com. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
- Carroll, Shirea L. (October 29, 2020). "Sound Off: Marques Houston Molestation Allegations". Essence. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
- Bowser, Martie (September 15, 2022). "Omarion Supports Raz B But Says It's Time to 'Speak Up, Take Accountability and Do the Work'". Yahoo!. Retrieved April 8, 2023.
- Kaufman, Gil (December 27, 2007). "Raz-B Retracts Abuse Allegations Against Former B2K Manager in New Video". MTV.com. Retrieved November 4, 2023.
- Hobbs, Linda (July 2008). "Stoked". Vibe. pp. 84–86.