On the fiftieth anniversary of the first arrival of Nelson Mandela as a prisoner on Robben Island, film producer, Anant Singh announced that the film, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM which is based on Mandela’s autobiography, is currently in the final stages of post-production and is on schedule to be released in South Africa on 29 November this year.
The film, shot entirely in South Africa, started principle photography exactly a year ago in KwaZulu Natal and went on to shoot for 16 weeks at authentic locations in Cape Town, Robben Island, Johannesburg and the Eastern Cape, with the shoot ending in mid-September 2012.
Singh commented, “It is an amazing coincidence that we started principle photography a year ago on the anniversary of Madiba’s arrival on Robben Island and that today, on the fiftieth anniversary of this watershed event, we find ourselves in the final stages of post-production. We are honoured to have had Madiba license us the film rights to his fascinating life story. I am also pleased to have had the opportunity to show images from the film to Madiba, Mrs Machel, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and members of the Mandela family. I was thrilled that when Madiba looked at some of images of Idris Elba in the trademark Madiba shirt, he asked the question, ‘Is that me ?’. This recognition and affirmation from Madiba is extremely satisfying and makes our journey worthwhile.”
Singh was licensed the film rights to Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk To Freedom by Mandela himself in 1996 and started developing the film immediately. The film is the only motion picture that has the endorsement and support of Mr Mandela and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM begins in 1924 and follows Madiba from his early childhood, through to his arrival in Johannesburg and culminates with his election as president of South Africa in 1994.
During the course of the film, three actors play Nelson Mandela – Siza Pini plays the 8 year old Mandela, Atandwa Kani plays him at 16, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years. Other actors include Tony Kgoroge (Walter Sisulu), Riaad Moosa (Ahmed Kathrada), Zolani Mkiva (Raymond Mhlaba), Simo Magwaza (Andrew Mlangeni), Fana Mokoena (Govan Mbeki), Thapelo Mokoena (Elias Motsoaledi), Naomie Harris (Winnie Mandela), Lindiwe Matshikiza (Zindzi Mandela), Terry Pheto (Evelyn), Jamie Bartlett (James Gregory), Deon Lotz (Kobie Coetzee) and Gys De Villiers (President De Klerk). The film is directed by Justin Chadwick.