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Filmmaker Gelila Bekele On 'Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story': 'He's Been Misunderstood A Lot'


Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story - Tyler Perry and Gelila Bekele

This past Wednesday, Atlanta came out for the special screening of Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story held at the Rialto Center for the Arts.


Maxine's Baby will take you through an intimate and emotional look into the life of the iconic Tyler Perry. The 115-minute documentary beautifully tells the story of how Perry went from humble beginnings to becoming a household name with a net worth of over $1 billion. The film also pays homage to Perry's mother who died December of 2009.



The evening kicked off with celebrities and Atlanta's prominent public figures on the red carpet showing their support for the Madea creator. Producers of the project, Asante and Jasmine White, also attended the screening and are excited for fans to learn some of the hidden gems of Perry's life.


"I think the audience will absolutely get a chance to see the way God has breathed in his life and the testament to every trial and tribulation that he's overcome and been through, and how diligent and obedient he's been to hearing God's voice and reacting to it," Asante shares.


Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story Crew

Maxine's Baby dives deep into the entertainment's abusive childhood when he was homeless and his rise to Stardom. The film was directed by Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz, who began to film Perry in 2016.


"I think his heart," Bekele says when asked what motivates her about Perry. "I think when I look at his success it's not how much he has acquired, it's more about the impact. He truly decides every decision based on how it's going to impact others. And to live that in practice and the process to witness that it's pretty incredible."


Bekele also shares that she learned a lot about Perry through directing the film. "I learned a lot. I think we can talk about forgiveness and love but to actually practice it. It's a hard thing to forgive someone who caused so much trauma and pain and support them."


Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story - Kenny Burns, Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz

Following the screening, Kenny Burns hosted a Q&A session with Bekele and Ortiz.


"I think he's been misunderstood a lot," Bekele shares about what she wants audiences to know after watching the documentary. "And I think we missed a whole chunk of what this man is about. I think we saw him as just this man who created a larger-than-life character Madea, and we just dismissed him. But all of the other stuff was lost. And this man has created a hub for us to thrive for the next generation of storytellers, as well as what it feels like to make something from nothing."


Maxine's Baby: The Tyler Perry Story premieres on Prime Video on Friday, November 17.

Check out the full black carpet interview below.


Photo Credit: Getty

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