BOX BROWN: A Box Marked Freedom

MOVIE SCORE 9.5/10!!! "...A RIVETING TRIUMPH ON ALL FRONTS."
-FILM THREAT

*GRAND PRIZE* at the 8th Silicon Beach International Film Festival at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

Music by *GRAMMY-AWARD-WINNING* JUSTIN ROBINSON & The Mary Annettes.

32nd WHITAKER ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL *MIDWESTERN PREMIERE*, November 2023 - AWARDED the Diane & John Kalishman Sponsorship.

BOX BROWN: A Box Marked Freedom is the incredible TRUE story of Henry "Box" Brown, an enslaved man who mailed himself to freedom in 1849.

BOX BROWN, directed by Rob Underhill and Aravind Ragupathi, shines a spotlight on the brutal conditions of slavery, both physical and emotional, and how one man is willing to risk everything to escape it all...

Mike Wiley "is exceptional... Wiley nails the part [of Henry "Box" Brown] for all 92 minutes."
-FILM THREAT

Learn about this historic true story here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Box_Brown

Fun fact: In BOX BROWN, Timmy Richardson stars as Henry Brown as a boy; he played a supporting role in @Tyler Perry's TV show, If Loving You is Wrong for 5 seasons. He landed the Tyler Perry role right after completing his work on Box Brown.

BOX BROWN, directed by Rob Underhill and Aravind Ragupathi, is 10-years in the making with zero budget. From cast and crew to locations and equipment, all work and things were donated to the making of this film. This is an independent filmmaker's story come true of overcoming all odds to tell this important American story.

BOX BROWN is the new feature film from the makers of DAR HE: The Lynching of Emmett Till, winner of 18 International Best Film Awards; "A TRIUMPH" 4.5/5 Stars -FILM THREAT; "IT'S ABSOLUTELY AMAZING" -Anne Brodie, Monsters & Critics; "BRILLIANT, AN INSPIRING FILM" -Tim Tyson, best-selling author.

The film is based on the one-man-show, One Noble Journey, written and performed by Mike Wiley. Mike also co-wrote BOX BROWN as well as plays Henry "Box" Brown in the film.

BOX BROWN was made possible due to generous donations of use of historic locations, props, costumes by Hope Plantation, Duke Homestead, Historic Playmakers Theatre, and more.

  • Robert Alan Underhill
    Director
    Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Aravind Ragupathi
    Director
    Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Mike Wiley
    Writer
    Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Allen Gies
    Writer
  • Rob Underhill
    Writer
  • Rob Underhill
    Producer
  • Aravind Ragupathi
    Producer
    Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Mike Wiley
    Producer
  • Mike Wiley
    Key Cast
    "Henry Brown"
  • Timmy Richardson
    Key Cast
    "Henry Brown (as a boy)"
    Tyler Perry's, If Loving You Is Wrong - 5 seasons on the show
  • Brandi Nicole Feemster
    Key Cast
    "Nancy Brown"
  • W. Scott Parker III
    Key Cast
    "Dr. Smith"
  • Aravind Ragupathi
    Director of Photography
    Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till
  • Rob Underhill
    Editor
  • Justin Robinson
    Music by
    Grammy Winner for Best Traditional Folk Album
  • Project Type:
    Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 31 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 8, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • 32nd Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival
    St. Louis, Missouri
    United States
    November 10, 2023
    Midwestern Premiere
    Awarded the Diane & John Kalishman Sponsorship
  • 8th Silicon Beach Film Festival
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    September 10, 2023
    World Premier at the TCL Chinese Theatre
    GRAND PRIZE WINNER
  • 13th Julien Dubuque International Film Festival
    Dubuque, Iowa
    United States
    April 26, 2024
    Iowa Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 10th Longleaf Film Festival
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    United States
    May 10, 2024
    North Carolina Premiere
    OPENING SELECTION
Director Biography - Robert Alan Underhill, Aravind Ragupathi

ROB UNDERHILL (Director, Writer, Producer, Editor)
Rob Underhill is a filmmaker & media producer since 2005. His feature films & numerous short-films have received over 150 awards, showcased at hundreds of screening engagements worldwide, including CANNES, ST. LOUIS & SEATTLE. Rob’s work has earned endorsements from major public figures like UN Ambassador Andrew Young & former NC Governor Beverly Perdue, & has been featured on NPR programs, such as THE STATE OF THINGS with Frank Stasio & THE STORY with Dick Gordon. Rob was featured speaker at the 2015 NCSU English department graduation commencement. Carolina STYLE Magazine recognized Rob as one of 25 "Most Stylish People" influencing positive change in the Carolinas. He is a RAWards Indie Art Award recipient for Best Regional Filmmaker. He received the QUSAR award for lifetime achievement in filmmaking by the 10th Raleigh Film and Art Festival. More at www.RobUnderhill.com

# #

ARAVIND RAGUPATHI (Co-director, DoP, Producer)
Aravind is an Emmy-nominated director, producer and cinematographer, landing him in productions around the world and in his native land, India. With over hundred festival wins, several feature films and indie cinema to his credit, his portfolio includes narrative features, TV commercials, corporate storytelling and music videos. His interest in American history has led him to produce narratives on the American Civil War, African-American history, the Civil Rights Movement and neo-American culture.

# #

MIKE WILEY (Lead Writer, Star, Co-producer, Author of Adapted Material)
Acclaimed actor and playwright Mike Wiley has spent the last decade fulfilling his mission to bring educational theatre to young audiences and communities across the country. In the early days of his career, Wiley found few theatrical resources to shine a light on key events and figures in African-American history. To bring these stories to life, he started his own production company.

Through his performances, Wiley has introduced countless students and communities to the legacies of Emmett Till, Henry “Box” Brown and more. His recent works include a one-man play based on Tim Tyson’s memoir Blood Done Sign My Name and The Parchman Hour, an ensemble production celebrating the bravery and determination of the Freedom Riders who risked their lives to desegregate Southern interstate bus travel in 1961.

Mike Wiley has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is the 2010 and 2014 Lehman Brady Visiting Joint Chair Professor in Documentary Studies and American Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to his numerous school and community performances, he has also appeared on Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel and National Geographic Channel and has been featured in Our State magazine and on PBS’ North Carolina Now and WUNC’s The State of Things.

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