Image Entertainment Acquires Domestic Rights to Winnie Mandela Biopic
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/16/13 -- Image Entertainment,
an RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE) 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 Anne
Marie 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 Andre Pieterse (Ironwood Films) and Michael Mosca (Equinoxe
Films). Bill Bromiley, Chief Acquisitions Officer for Image
Entertainment, made today's announcement.
"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
"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."
Winnie Mandela explores the personal and political life of the wife
of renowned activist and former South African President Nelson
Mandela (Terrence Howard). The film tells the compelling story of one
woman's journey as she fights for the freedom of the man she loves
and for the freedom of her people during the Apartheid era. Winnie
Mandela depicts the struggle to keep the Mandela dream alive amidst
her husband's life imprisonment, her own time in solitary
confinement, and her battle to overcome controversies that followed
her through the years.
The deal was negotiated by Bromiley, Brett Dismuke and Jess De Leo on
behalf of Image Entertainment, and by CAA on behalf of the producers.
Winnie Mandela made 70 appearances on American network television,
merited 20 stories in the New York Times, and was nominated for a
Nobel Peace Prize. Known as South Africa's brave and selfless "Mother
of the Nation," she became one of the most famous women in the world.
Recent Image Entertainment releases include The Numbers Station with
John Cusack and Malin Akerman, Tomorrow You're Gone with Stephen
Dorff, Michelle Monaghan and Willem Dafoe, Day of the Falcon with
Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto and Mark Strong and the upcoming The
Colony with Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers, Blood
with Paul Bettany, Mark Strong and Brian Cox and Paradise with
Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Octavia Spencer and Holly Hunter,
written, directed and produced by Diablo Cody.
About RLJ Entertainment
RLJ Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: RLJE) is a
premier independent licensee and distributor of entertainment content
and programming in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia
with over 5,200 exclusive titles. RLJE is a leader in numerous genres
via its owned and distributed brands such as Acorn (British TV),
Image (stand-up comedy, feature films), One Village (urban), Acacia
(fitness), Slingshot (faith), Athena (educational), Criterion (art
films) and Madacy (gift sets). These titles are distributed in
multiple formats including DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download, digital
streaming, broadcast television (including satellite and cable),
theatrical and non-theatrical.
Via its majority-owned subsidiary Agatha Christie Limited, RLJE
manages the intellectual property and publishing rights to some of
the greatest works of mystery fiction, including stories of the
iconic sleuths Miss Marple and Poirot. And through its
direct-to-consumer business, RLJE has direct contacts and billing
relationships with millions of consumers.
RLJE leverages its management experience to acquire, distribute, and
monetize existing and original content for its many distribution
channels, including its nascent branded digital subscription
channels, and engages distinct audiences with programming that
appeals directly to their unique viewing interests. RLJE has
proprietary e-commerce web sites for the Acorn and Acacia brands, and
owns the recently launched Acorn TV digital subscription service.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Katrina Wan on behalf of RLJ Entertainment
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