NEW ORLEANS -- “Five guys, five cameras, 1 city.”

That’s how the producers of the new documentary film “Backstory” explain the film.

"Backstory" was created by the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, with the goal of examining what it feels like to be an African-American male living in America. Five young men from different backgrounds and areas of New Orleans filmed parts of their lives for six months and shared their views on everything from education and criminal justice to homosexuality and law enforcement.

The current-day footage is mixed with archival film footage, much of it from movies illustrating the often controversial depiction of African-Americans on film over the past century. The program also features interviews with civil rights leaders Al Sharpton and Marc Morial.

The producers say their film “provides a glimpse into the variety of expression of Black maleness in the United States” through the eyes of five young black men.

It was screened at the recent New Orleans Film Festival. The director/editor and cinematographer for the film was Iman Shervington. It was produced by Chloe Walters-Wallace, who also served as cinematographer. has selected five clips from the film for a digital-only release here. You can also get more information online at

Sheba Turk will talk to some of the young men profiled in the film, Friday night at 10pm on WWL-TV Channel 4.

Backstory: 5 guys, 5 cameras, 1 city

Backstory: EJ leans that he's going to be a dad

Backstory: Relationship with mom

Backstory: The police

Backstory: What did we learn