Behind Those Books: A Documentary is guaranteed to change the perception of some and challenge how others feel about tales of street life in inner-cities. The film features notable authors and artists Terry McMillan, Zane, Omar Tyree, Teri Woods, Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Kevin Powell, Queen Pen, Vickie Stringer, Nikki Turner, K’wan, Treasure E. Blue, Nick Chiles and more. Behind Those Books was written, produced and directed by maternal cousins, Kaven Brown and Mills Miller, and will premiere in New York at the Tribeca Cinemas on May 27, 2011. We were able to catch up with Mills Miller and Kaven Brown to ask them some questions. The movie trailer for Behind Those Books is located at the end of this post. –martin pratt
What are your top five favorite documentaries ?
Miller: 1-Super Size Me, 2-Sicko, 3-Collapse, 4-This Film Is Not Yet Rated, 5-Fahrenheit 911
Brown: 1-Collapse, 2-Sicko, 3-Food Inc., 4-This Film is Not Yet Rated, and 5-The Black List Series.
Why make a documentary about books?
Producer-writer Kaven Brown: We chose to do a documentary because there were so many authors, media and readers on opposing sides and, yet, I couldn’t find any visual outlets that captured the various views and posing questions. As the publisher of Urban BookSource.com, an online media outlet for urban fiction and African American authors, I had the contacts, and I had a front-row view to how passionate urban fiction authors are about sharing their literary work with the masses.
What advice can you give to an up-and-coming filmmaker?
Miller: The best advice I can give is just to go out there and do it. All the resources are available to us now. Cameras and we can get our work seen and noticed through the internet. It’s a time like no other for all filmmakers to take advantage of that.
Brown: Don’t believe the hype! Don’t listen to anything negative regarding filmmaking or anything for that matter. The “traditional” route of doing things is what most people are used to hearing, and most are enslaved to it now. With the technology available, you can produce high quality “MTV”-like output. Don’t be scared. Don’t ever give up. Stay focused, and you’ll succeed. I’ve been doing this for eight years.
What do you hope people will take away from the movie?
Director Mills Miller: I hope people take away from the film that, in any situation, a positive can be derived from it. Many of these authors come from prison or very impoverished backgrounds growing up. So, if anyone can take anything away from the film, it would be that for me.