The Weinstein Company (TWC) has signed a deal with BET founderRobert L Johnson's RLJ companies to create a venture to produce African-Americancomedies.

Our Stories Films will launch shortly in Los Angeles with officesin New York City. Dimension Films will distribute all titles theatrically andTWC's home entertainment partner Genius Products will handle DVD releases.

TWC will have an equity stake in the venture, which will be run byJohnson, who will have the power of greenlight and decide when to acquire andfinance projects.

JP Morgan Chase has committed to financing the venture with up to $175munder terms to be negotiated.

"We are thrilled to partner with Harvey and Bob Weinstein tofulfill this vision," Johnson said. "Never before has anAfrican-American had greenlight authority at a studio combined with thisquality of financing and a distribution partner that has a proven track recordin successful urban films."

"We are proud to be behind this venture and are confident inBob Johnson's taste and his ability to identify projects that will be successful,"Bob and Harvey Weinstein added. "We are committed to releasing a slate offilms focused in the African-American family genre and to working with OurStories to launch their exciting new brand."

Our Stories Filmssenior management will be announced in the near future.