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Bishop T. D. Jakes to Produce Winnie Mandela Movie Starring Jennifer Hudson (Exclusive)

KITSHOFF/Film Bridge International

"Winnie" stars Hudson as the wife of South African leader Nelson Mandela, played by Terrence Howard.

TDJ Enterprises/TDJ Independents, the company and its indie division run by influential pastor Bishop T. D. Jakes, has come aboard to executive produce Winnie, the Winnie and Nelson Mandela love story starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard.

The company also is boarding as executive producer A Million Colours, which last month was the opening film at the 2012 Hollywood Black Film Festival.

Jakes, the leader of the 30,000-member Dallas-based church called The Potter’s House, created the companies to help extend faith-based ideas, leveraging the power of his following and creating a launch pad and brand. TDJ has a first-look deal with Sony and served as producers on the ensemble comedy Jumping the Broom and the upcoming Whitney Houston movie Sparkle.

For the new movies, TDJ will help to develop domestic marketing and distribution plans. 

"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.

The two movies follow TDJ’s successful involvement in Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7thDay, which came from the indie division.

Winnie stars Hudson as Winnie Mandela and Howard as Nelson Mandela. The movie, which recently wrapped production with Academy Award nominee Darrell J. Roodt in the director’s seat, focuses on Winnie and her relationship in the midst of political turmoil and struggle under the Apartheid system.

Canadian actors Elias Koteas and Wendy Crewson also star.

Colours hails from New York-based Canadian director Peter Bishai and is based on the real-life stories of a Zulu and an Afrikaner, Muntu Ndebele and his friend Norman Knox. It has been described as a blend of Slumdog Millionaire and Romeo & Juliet.

E-mail: Borys.Kit@thr.com

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