Next month’s AFI Fest will shine a spotlight on Tyler Perry. The festival announced Monday that it has booked a world premiere of the documentary Maxine’s Baby: The Tyler Perry Story as a centerpiece screening at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre on Oct. 27.
The Amazon Studios and Bekele Films project comes from directors Gelila Bekele and Armani Ortiz and is described as an intimate look at the multihyphenate as it “grants the audience unfettered access to the inner world of Tyler Perry, whose story has never fully been told, as he becomes a father and a media mogul with a mission to pave his own road to the top.” The title is a nod to his mother’s name, Willie Maxine Perry, who passed away in 2009. Following its fest debut, the doc streams on Prime Video beginning Nov. 17.
“Tyler Perry is a creative force of nature — a multihyphenate who forged his own path to seismic impact in the world of storytelling while also inspiring the next generation to follow in his footsteps,” AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “Maxine’s Baby is an epic celebration of a modern maverick, and it is AFI’s honor to shine a proper light upon Mr. Perry and the film at AFI Fest.”
Bekele, who produced the film under her Bekele Films banner alongside Jasmine K. White and Asante White, said in a joint statement with Ortiz: “Working on this film for the past decade has been a life-changing journey for the both of us. Getting intimately acquainted with the man behind the icon while witnessing the transformative impact of Mr. Perry’s work within various communities has been truly awe-inspiring,. We hope this film is more than a road to success story, but rather, a meditation on healing, unconditional love and an inspiration to audiences.”
As previously announced, AFI Fest will open Oct. 25 with a world premiere of Sam Esmail’s apocalyptic thriller Leave the World Behind starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la Herrold, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans and Kevin Bacon. It will close Oct. 29 with a screening of Bradley Cooper’s Maestro starring the filmmaker opposite Carey Mulligan, Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke, Sarah Silverman and others.
AFI Fest is scheduled for Oct. 25-29 and will unspool at the TCL Chinese Theatre. In addition to opening night, the festival will feature a selection of red carpet premieres, special screenings, world cinema, documentaries and shorts. AFI Fest film passes are now on sale.