Wayne State student releases short film ‘Nile,’ a look into Black fatherhood from son’s eyes

Amid the pandemic, director Miles Reuben found a way to make it work

filmTOY Studios presents “NILE: A Visual Embodiment of a Sonic Experience.” A non-linear short film that exhibits the various memories of a son’s journey to rebuild his connection to his late father. A five-part story told through imagery, poetry, dance, and music - based on the song “Nile” by Beyoncé & Kendrick Lamar. (filmTOY Studios)

As a student, shooting a short film during a pandemic is a hard task to take on, but Wayne State Film student Miles Reuben was up for the challenge.

Reuben recently released “NILE: A Visual Embodiment of a Sonic Experience,” which takes a look into Black fatherhood from a son’s perspective.

“NILE acts as a revealing letter of my own journey with my father. It explores the prominent emotions that I faced regarding his life, his death, and the aftermath of both. The film is brought to life by the performances and hard work of my talented friends and the vulnerability of men in my family. It’s a passion project that I envisioned in 2019 when listening to the song from Beyoncé & Kendrick,” he said.

The film wasn’t always this way, as the original intent changed due to the fact that Reuben got more emotional about his journey, and while being in the pandemic, and being alone, it allowed him to deeply think about those closest to him.

“The original intent of the film was supposed to be a visual aid to the song and showcase my skills as a director to show diversity,” he states. The pandemic not only changed the intent of the film but it also changed the look of it and made it challenging to create.

“It was a challenging experience at first, and I had to rework it to take place outside because the original had inside and outside spots,” he said.

Thankfully, he wasn’t taking on this challenge alone. He had the help of Detroit cinematographer Gary Jay and a small cast and crew to workout and separate production during COVID-19.

This isn’t his first shot at creating films. The Southfield Lathrup graduate has been tapping into his creative side since his freshman year of high school.

“I was a part of a TV production class in high school where we did news reporting and during that time I was also big into photography. That class showed me this (directing) is what I really wanted to do,” he states.

The short film has since been selected by Retrospective of Jupiter, an award winning short film website, and a daily pick by the internationally acclaimed film website, Film Shortage.

You can check out the film here:

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