WINNIE MANDELLA FILM
Image Entertainment, an RLJ Entertainment brand, has acquired all U.S. rights to Winnie Mandela at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. Budgeted at $15 million, the film is an adaptation of Anné Mariè du Preez Bezdrob’s biography Winnie Mandela: A Life and is written and directed by Darrell J. Roodt.
Winnie Mandela stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls; Sex in the City) and Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow; Red Tails; Iron Man) and will be released in theaters Fall 2013. The film is presented by TD Jakes, and produced by André Pieterse (Ironwood Films) and Michael Mosca (Equinoxe Films).
“Both Jennifer Hudson (as Winnie) and Terrence Howard (as Nelson Mandela) deliver exceptional, solid performances,” said Bromiley. “We are honored to distribute the film and give audiences the opportunity to see Winnie Mandela’s powerful story.”
“Winnie Mandela has been a labor of love,” said director Darrell J. Roodt. “We wanted to uphold the prestige of the Mandela name and tell her story as accurately and respectfully as possible. We took great pride and responsibility in creating this movie, and we are proud to release the never-before-seen dramatic love story this Fall. The brilliant acting by Jennifer and Terrence, supported by the excellent cinematography and outstanding title song by six time Academy Award nominee Diane Warren (sung by Jennifer Hudson), make this film incomparable.”
“This movie offers American audiences a rare opportunity to visit the amazing beauty of South Africa from a theater seat,” said TD Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises. “But even more, it is an epic look at love and liberty and the great expense incurred to attain and maintain either. It is our honor to inspire a wider audience to sample the drama of a love life painted on the canvas of Apartheid. Image Entertainment and RLJ, we applaud you for having the courage to unveil this compelling story on screen.”
Sundance Institute announced filmmaker Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station) will be honored with the Vanguard Award, presented by Tiffany & Co.
Actress Kerry Washington will present the award to Coogler at the third annual ‘Celebrate Sundance Institute’ benefit on June 5, in Los Angeles. As previously announced, the benefit will also honor the life and work of beloved journalist and film critic Roger Ebert with the Vanguard Leadership Award in Memoriam, in recognition of his advocacy of independent cinema. The award will be presented by Sundance Institute President and Founder Robert Redford and accepted by Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert.
Director Ryan Coogler’s first feature film, Fruitvale Station, was selected for Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program Screenwriters Lab and Artist Granting Fund and went on to win both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Fruitvale Station will screen in the “Un Certain Regard” section at Cannes this month and will be released by The Weinstein Company in July 2013.
JORDIN SPARKS STARS
Codeblack Films has picked up US distribution for “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” co-executive produced by Alicia Keys, directed by George Tillman Jr. and starring Jeffrey Wright, Jordin Sparks, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jennifer Hudson and Anthony Mackie.
The film, which made its debut at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25, is about two abandoned and scared boys – 13-year-old Skylan Brooks as Mister and Ethan Dizon as 9-year-old Pete – trying to survive in New York City.
“Inevitable Defeat” was the debut of multiplatinum songstress Keys as an executive producer. She also serves as the film’s composer.