The New Documentary Film
Opens at New York’s Quad Cinema,
Los Angeles’ Laemmle Theatres &
New Orleans' Zeitgeist Arts Center
on May 13
The DVD will be released on July 19, 2011
Interviews are available with director Mary McDonagh Murphy
and several of those interviewed in the film.
EPKS including audio clips of Harper Lee are available for broadcast outlets.
First Run Features will release Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird fifty years after the novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction on May 4, 1961.This documentary film by Mary McDonagh Murphy explores the phenomenon To Kill a Mockingbird became and unravels some of the mysteries around the novelist’s life, including why she never published again.
Harper Lee’s first and only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was instantly a beloved classic. The film version, starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, won a trio of Academy Awards. Luminaries like Tom Brokaw list the novel among their all-time favorite books, and Oprah Winfrey calls it “our national novel.” It is still required reading in most classrooms and sells nearly a million copies every year—many more than The Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby or Of Mice and Men.
This month President Obama presented the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence, to ten recipients for their outstanding achievements and support of the arts. Among those honored was author Harper Lee. In characteristic fashion, Lee did not attend the ceremony.
The US Postal Service's new Gregory Peck stamp in the ‘Legends of Hollywood’ series depicts him wearing glasses, as Atticus Finch.
Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird chronicles how Lee was able to write such a work, the context and history of the Deep South where it is set, Lee’s family background and the social change the novel inspired after its publication.
Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, Wally Lamb, Anna Quindlen, Richard Russo, Scott Turow, Oprah Winfrey, Andrew Young and others reflect on the novel's power, influence, and popularity and the many ways it has shaped their lives and careers.
Although Lee has not given an interview since 1964, Murphy's reporting, research and rare interviews with the author's friends and 99-year-old sister, Alice, add new details and never-before-seen documents and photos to the remarkable story of the Mockingbird phenomenon. Many speak on the record for the first time ever, sharing intimate recollections, anecdotes, and biographical details, including new information about Lee’s tumultuous friendship with Truman Capote.
Mary McDonagh Murphy is an independent filmmaker and the author of Scout, Atticus & Boo: A Celebration of To Kill a Mockingbird, published by Harper Collins. Murphy was a producer for CBS News for twenty years where she won six Emmy Awards. Her other documentaries include Cry for Help, about adolescent suicide and depression, which aired nationally on PBS in 2009 and Digital Days, narrated by Tom Brokaw, about the Internet’s impact on the newspaper industry for the Associated Press.
"An enlightened love letter to the novel." - Lynn Peisner, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Intelligent and intriguing, and timely, too." -Emanuel Levy, Cinema 24/7
From Murphy's Interviews:
“I remember starting it and just devouring it, not being able to get enough of it, because I fell in love with Scout…I wanted to be Scout and I wanted a father like Atticus.” - Oprah Winfrey
“One of the most telling lines that I hear from early pioneers in the [Civil Rights] movement is that ‘we had liberated not just black people, we liberated white people.’ I think that Harper Lee helped liberate white people with that book.” - Tom Brokaw
HEY, BOO: HARPER LEE AND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
82 minutes, color, 2010, Stereo, Digibeta
Produced, Written and Directed by: MARY MCDONAGH MURPHY
Director of Photography: RICH WHITE
Editor/Producer: CHRISTOPHER SEWARD
Narrator: BOB MAYER
Editors: MARY ALFIERI, SEAN FRECHETTE, FRAN GULLO
Sound: JACK NORFLUS
Alabama Consultant: LYNN RABREN
Associate Producer: BRYONY KOCKLER
Press materials are available at: firstrunfeatures.com/heyboo_press.html