The highly anticipated film Winnie by Darrell Roodt will open the 8th edition of the Montreal International Black Film Festival on September 19th, as a Quebec Premiere. Winnie, a Canadian co-production, produced by Quebec producer Michael Mosca from Equinoxe Films, will kick-start the official competition. Winnie stars Academy and Grammy Awards winner Jennifer Hudson as Winnie Mandela, and Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela.
“We are very proud to open the festival with such a big film produced by a Quebec producer. It’s a deeply moving story that leaves no one untouched,” stated Fabienne Colas, President of the Festival.
Based on the biography by Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob “Winnie Mandela : A Life”, Winnie is an intimate, in-depth and unbiased film that will take the audience on a remarkable journey of understanding Winnie Mandela, one of the world’s most famous female activists, exploring both her personal and political life. Winnie Mandela is a complex historical figure, appreciated for her role in the struggle against apartheid led by her husband, but whose obscure acquaintances make an equally controversial personality.
Through her fierce determination and dauntless courage, Winnie Mandela survived her husband’s imprisonment, continuous harassment by the security police, banishment to a small Free State town, betrayal by friends and allies, and more than a year in solitary confinement – all the while keeping the name of Nelson Mandela alive. A sensitive and balanced portrayal, the film nevertheless thoroughly investigates and honestly examines the controversies that dogged Winnie Mandela in recent years.
South African filmmaker and screenwriter Darrell Roodt, whose film Yesterday was nominated for an Academy Award in “Best Foreign Language Film” category in 2005, made an international name for himself with his debut feature A Place of Weeping (1986), a passionate condemnation of apartheid. Educated at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, he gained further acclaim for The Stick (1988), another look at the anti-apartheid struggle. In 1990, he made his first film with American backing, Jobman (1990).
Roodt’s best-known film is his adaptation of the anti-apartheid stage musical Sarafina! (1992) starring Whoopi Goldberg. He has made around 30 films ans TV series among which Cry, the Beloved Country starring James Earl Jones and Richard Harris (1995). He has since alternated between making films in Hollywood and South Africa. His latest film Winnie has been officially selected in both Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.
After its Quebec premiere at the Montreal International Black Film Festival, Winnie, distributed by Equinoxe Films, will hit Quebec screens starting October 5, 2012. The 8th MIBFF will be held from September 19 to 30, 2012.