Producer, Anant Singh announced yesterday that the internationally acclaimed film, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom will be released in China on 18 July through China Film Group Corporation, the state film distribution body which administers the quota of foreign films released in the country. The release marks the culmination of negotiations which saw executive producer, Sanjeev Singh made several trips to Beijing to conclude the distribution arrangement.
China Film Group Corporation will release Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom on more than 1000 screens in China. This is significant as it is the first time that a South African film will have a wide release in China, on the same terms as Hollywood studio films. It is further significant as the release takes place on the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birthday and also coincides with the formalisation of the two year cultural exchange programme between South Africa and China which was launched in Beijing in April. China has emerged as one of the most lucrative film markets in the world, where the latest film in the Transformer series, Transformers: Age of Extinction has become the highest grossing English language film of all time, with its box office earnings in China outgrossing the US box office earnings - a first for a Hollywood studio blockbuster.
Producer Anant Singh commented, "The release of Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in China is indeed fortuitous, especially as it is on Madiba's birthday and that it will be the first year that the world will commemorate this special occasion post his passing. The film will provide an opportunity for Chinese audiences to celebrate Madiba's life and pay tribute to him as a global icon and leader who is revered and respected in China. We are pleased that the release of the film takes place at the time of the country-to-country cultural exchange programme between South Africa and China. We are also delighted that we are releasing Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in China during a booming market for foreign films."
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom will be screened on 18 July at the Isola del Cinema in Rome and at the Ischia Global Fest on the Italian island of Ischia. The film will also be the closing film of the Rwanda International Film Festival on 18 July.
Last week Videovision Entertainment, The Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ster Kinekor announced that Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom will be made available to the public at no cost for the 09h45 screening on 18 July 2014 at selected Ster Kinekor cinemas across South Africa.