25-7, New Black Films Prepping 'Mandela Project' (Cannes 2011)

In depth interviews with the former South African president will form the core of the project, being produced and directed by Kemal Akhtar and Kweku Mandela.

CANNES -- In depth interviews with former South African president and freedom fighter Nelson Mandela form the core of The Mandela Project, a documentary being put together by U.K. production banners 25-7 Films and New Black Films.

The $3 million budgeted documentary is being produced and directed by Kemal Akhtar and Kweku Mandela and co-produced by Victoria Gregory (Man on Wire). It is currently in pre-production and the producers are in Cannes drumming up interest in the documentary.

Executive producers are James Erskine (From the Ashes) Deepak Sikka (The King’s Speech).

Producers said the aim will be to launch in 2012 around various charity events being organized to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANC.

Billed as a deeply personal film, Mandela describes his journey through life, following his story from boyhood to Presidency, with deeply intimate insights from those closest to him (his family). It also contains the last extensive interview conducted with Mandela. Akhtar said, “I am delighted to be able to tell the story of this great freedom fighter — his humor and intelligence is beacon to people across the planet.”

Executive producer James Erskine added, “In this film, we attempt to make not only the definitive portrait of one of the greatest figures of the 20th century, but an intimate heart-warming portrait of a man and his family.”