Los Angeles — TDJ Enterprises / TDJ Independents announced today that the company has signed on as executive producer to two new films — the highly-anticipated feature “Winnie,” the untold love story of Winnie and Nelson Mandela starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson and Academy Award nominee Terrence Howard, and” A Million Colours,” the opening film at the 2012 Hollywood Black Film Festival.
Following the success of “Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day” — a TDJ Independents feature that topped its opening weekend’s box office for indies and outpaced all releases that same period on per-screen average — TDJ Enterprises is now leveraging the growing power of the company’s brand to create a global platform for projects that might not otherwise reach a broad audience.
“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 T.D. Jakes. “TDJ Enterprises is excited to work with creative professionals like producer André Pieterse and others to bridge the cultural divide and fuel a freedom of expression that produces dynamic films.”
With production recently completed on both films, TDJ Enterprises will serve in an executive producer capacity helping to develop domestic marketing and distribution channels for both films. This opportunity provides TDJ Enterprises with content for both its mainstream division, which boasts box-office successes like last summer’s runaway hit “Jumping the Broom,” and the upcoming “Sparkle” through the company’s first-look deal with Sony. The deal will also provide content for TDJ Independents, the company’s outlet for indie films.
Says producer André Pieterse, a thirty-five year veteran of the film industry: “The TDJ brand and its attachment elevates both ‘Winnie’ and ‘A Million Colours’ to the status to which the creative team and cast had aspired during production.”
“Winnie”, directed by Academy Award nominee Darrell J. Roodt, is 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 opted to confine herself day and night to the prison set where the crew shot scenes depicting Winnie Mandela’s 500-plus days in solitary confinement. Hudson wanted, she says, “to experience some of the hell that woman went through.” She goes on to say about Winnie: “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.”
“‘Winnie’ is the best work I’ve ever done,” said Terrance Howard. “Their story is one of the most inspirational, true love stories of all time.”
The leading cast is superbly supported by Canadian actors Elias Koteas and Wendy Crewson.
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. The score is by the highly acclaimed composer, Laurent Eyquem.
Directed by New York-based Canadian Peter Bishai, “A Million Colours” is inspired by stories of the young Zulu, Muntu Ndebele and his friend Norman Knox — two leading film stars in late 1970s South Africa.
“Our film is a judicious blend of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet,’” said Bishai.