WINNIE: When Will U.S. See It?

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With the announcement that T.D. Jakes, pastor, author and CEO of TDJ Enterprises, will produce Winnie, starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard, there’s a chance that this art-house film will hit mainstream — or not.

Reviews have been mixed (,

Hudson/Howard in Winnie
Hudson/Howard in Winnie

however, it’s worth noting that this is one of several films that will focus on Nelson Mandela’s life (the other being a rumored one not yet in production with Idris Elba starring).

Jakes’ production company will also produce A Million Colours, a South African movie that chronicles the diverging lives of two acclaimed young actors and how they were affected by apartheid. ‘Colours‘ will open this year’s Hollywood Black Festival in the fall.

“Stories like ‘Winnie’ and ‘A Million Colours’ are important historically and socially. Collaborations like this offer us a unique ability to provide the global community a window into African culture through the creation of quality content,” said Jakes.

Winnie was shown last year as the opening film at the Hollywood Black Film Festival and is described as “a sensitive and balanced portrayal that examines the controversies and conquests in the life of the equally beloved and polarizing figure, Winnie Mandela. It also explores in a way that no other film has, the nature of love and relationships in the midst of political turmoil and struggle under the apartheid system.”

“I was compelled and moved by the script,” said Jennifer Hudson. “Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her.”

Hudson stayed “confined” day and night to the prison set where the crew shot scenes depicting Winnie Mandela’s 500-plus days in solitary confinement.

“They snatched her out of her home and she had no idea what happened to her children. This was real. As a woman, I am angry for her, hurting for her.”

“Their story is one of the most inspirational, true love stories of all time,” said co-star Terrence Howard.

The cast also includes Canadian actors Elias Koteas (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Wendy Crewson  (Alcatrez).

The film features the title song “Bleed for Love”, performed by Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Hudson accompanied by the Soweto Gospel Choir and penned by six-time Academy Award Nominee Diane Warren, with a score by Laurent Eyquem.

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