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UPDATE - Jennifer Hudson's "Winnie Mandela" Biopic Confirmed To Debut At Toronto's TIFF

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 16, 2011 3:06 AM
15 Comments
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An update to my post yesterday... it looks like Winnie is indeed going to premiere at TIFF as Jennifer Hudson said in the radio interview I posted yesterday. It's been confirmed this morning, as the festival released its Gala additions to this year's lineup. S&A won't be at Toronto this year unfortunately, though I really wanted to go. Next year is a certainty. But I should have eyes and ears present who'll be feeding me info, which I'll share here.

Here's yesterday's original post:

In the audio clip below, which features Jennifer Hudson in an interview with the hosts of Chicago's WGCI Morning Riot program, on the 12th (last week Friday), the singer/actress/spokesmodel reveals that her long-awaited Winnie Mandela biopic, (Winnie) will make its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. She even gives an exact date - September 16th.

We've been tracking the TIFF lineup announcements, and, thus far, I don't believe Winnie has been mentioned yet; however, there are still more titles to be announced, so J-Hud may have spoken a bit too soon, as I don't believe this is officially public info yet.

Our last post on this was in June, when the real Winnie Mandela spoke to CNN, expressing her annoyances with the entire project, including the fact that J-Hud never met with her personally. At the time I said that there was no word on the film's debut. Looks like now we know.

The trailer for the biopic, starring Jennifer Hudson as the titular character, and Terrence Howard as Nelson Mandela, was met with much ridicule and derision when we unveiled it last fall, to the chagrin of its producers, and maybe to the real Winnie Mandela as well, given her well-documented objections to the production of the film in early 2010, for which she was not consulted at all.

Here, J-Hud not only reveals that it'll debut at Toronto, but she also talks about taking on the role, saying that she's seen the film, and is happy with it and her performance:

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15 Comments

  • ojie king | August 30, 2011 7:14 AMReply

    i think an apology is in order. The film was announced last minute so she was indeed telling the truth. How silly of me to think that she was lieing. My apologies.

  • norma | August 17, 2011 12:41 PMReply

    Mecca: I just feel you should have never call the lead role of her movie a lie about when its debuting(Jennifer Hudson). No! she is not perfect, but I just don't see Jhud as a liar or confused. One of the most genuine artist in the business(phenomenal). Now, you can down play the word hate all you want. However, your comments showed other wise. I don't need to look the word up. Mecca you need to look in the mirror. Like Jennifer Hudson are not she is an amazing talent. A award winning actress as well as a award winning artist. Jhud talents speaks for itself most authentic!!!

  • CareyCarey | August 16, 2011 8:08 AMReply

    @ Mecca, "Why do you quote and analyze people’s comments that is so annoying"

    Yes, it could be annoying, but isn't that the essense of conversaations of this nature. I mean, when someone voices their opinion, you, me, everyone says yea oh nay. How they do that is expressed in hundreds of ways. If you believe your form of "constuctive criticism", feedback and discourse is the shit and the stairway to heaven... well, it's not.

    So Ms Mecca, when you address others (you do it quite often) who did not call your name, do you believe that annoys them? It could, especially if they said something that lacked merit or was totally unfounded. Now, you've called others out, or vehemently objected to something they've said, so is this the is this the pot cslling the kettle black or is your annoyance a result of someone not agreeing with you and has no fear of saying exactly why.

    In short, I am suggesting that maybe you should look in your own heart before you asks others to define the word "hater".

  • Mecca | August 16, 2011 6:47 AMReply

    @ Carey Carey

    Who is hating? I have not said, one hateful thing about JHud I was just doubting the TIFF debut release.

    You might want to look up the word "hater" because if you read my comments I did not say anything negative about her.

    Ugh! Why do you quote and analyze people's comments that is so annoying. Read first before you draw your own comments.

  • CareyCarey | August 16, 2011 6:20 AMReply

    "Haters are all over the place like a pack of wild dogs"

    Hello! Say it twice because it sounds so nice... "haters are all over the place like a pack of wil dogs"

    But wait, lets see what they are saying... "The Winnie Mandela biopic “Winnie” is not debuting at TIFF. I am currently volunteering and I know exactly what is being programmed at the film is not listed in the line-up. So, I think JHud is lying here. Or she is just really, really confused" ~ mecca

  • Orville | August 16, 2011 5:30 AMReply

    I am actually amazed that the editors of this blog doubted Jennifer Hudson even though she is the star of the movie. Jennifer is an Oscar winning actress of course Winnie was going to get a world premiere at TIFF. I think Jennifer knows a lot more about her movie than the editors of this blog.

    I am kind of nervous for Jennifer Hudson because the real Winnie Mandela is against the movie. There is so much controversy to this movie because some South Africans actors are against a black American woman taking on the title role. I also heard that South Africans bashed Jennifer Hudson's South African accent they say it is not authentic enough. I saw an interview on CNN and Winnie does not like a biopic made about her life without her consent. Perhaps I sincerely hope the movie does focus on the 14 year old kid that got killed.

  • Sergio | August 16, 2011 5:10 AMReply

    @ Mecca

    Winnie is definitely at TIFF. I've just gotten an official press release from the festival stating that it will be presented at the festival as a Gala World Premiere.

    NEVER doubt the word of Shadow And Act!

  • Vanessa Martinez | August 16, 2011 3:39 AMReply

    Can't wait for the reviews.

  • norma | August 16, 2011 2:19 AMReply

    People let Jennifer Hudson state her claim. This is one young lady people have been trying to paint a negative picture of from the start of her career. I don't believe she would have made that claim if it was not told to her that way. She does not need to LIE to get are gain attention. Jhud is already a hot commodity and have been most of her career. Weather the movie get an Oscar hand are not(Jhud already have one she earned). Her career is going to continue on the up and up. Haters are all over the place like a pack of wild dogs. The media can be the worst outlet. Let Jennifer Hudson have her say mean spirited people. The movie will come out one way are another!!! Jealousy and envy is two of the worst traits.

  • Mecca | August 15, 2011 11:20 AMReply

    @ Tambay

    I have attended various meetings w/ supervisors, managers and directors and they all stated the line-up and "Winnie" was not mentioned at all.

    I am not sure where Ms. Hudson got her info and I don't know if it will be included last minute. But from what I have gathered so far I have not heard anything about this "Winnie" film being featured at TIFF.

  • tambay | August 15, 2011 9:51 AMReply

    @ Mecca - not that I'm disagreeing with you, but... the full festival lineup hasn't been announced yet, right? There are still some titles that will be unveiled in the next week. So maybe it'll be in that group, or have you already seen the entire lineup and know for sure that it's not going to play at the festival?

    Because I'm wondering why she'd give out that info if it wasn't valid. Maybe the film's producers are giving her to wrong info?

  • ojie king | August 15, 2011 9:39 AMReply

    I concur with Mecca, the film is not on the website, i have been checking daily.
    I have searched and searched for new developments regarding this film but there seems to be none. In my opinion, that is a very very bad move by the producers. You see, art-house films like this or in the case biopics rely on discussion and word-of-mouth to stimulate interest into the film. Hence, the reason why The Help is doing so well because people keep on talking about it i.e. the racial undertones which will eventually drive people to the picture out of mere curiosity. As for Winnie, so far there have been nothing except for that poorly received trailer. We need more, i.e. to see a better trailer and some newer looks (pictures). There should also be a website around the film as of right now. Basically, the success of a film like this heavily depends on the amount of discourse it can get due to the historical relevance of Winnie. The thing is if the producers are complacent with the packaging of this film, it will end up like the utter disaster of Halle Berry's Frankie and Alice which failed because the push was late and weak and overly reliant on an oscar nod for Miss Berry. When she didn't get, there really was no point in releasing the film. Look, the competition this year is exceptionally tight for Best Actress. There is Meryl Steep for " The iron lady", Michelle Williams for " A week with Marylyn", Tilda Swinton for "We need to talk about Kevin", Viola Davis "The Help", Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster for "Carnage" and possibly Rachel Weisz for her two flicks not to mention the string female ensemble for "Contagion", not to mention that a majority of these films are being supported by studios that have clout and the cash so the producers should better get off their asses and start pushing the film for late November early December release because the success or failure of this film is a big determining factor for Jennifer Hudson's movie career. To be sentimental, she has the minority vote seeing as the Oscars didn't nominate any actress of ethnic minority last year, it might want to rebound that this year.

  • Quentin | August 15, 2011 9:31 AMReply

    Re: Comment by Mecca

    Wow. Talk about being blown up...lol

  • Mecca | August 15, 2011 9:21 AMReply

    Oops Ignore typos mean't to say I know exactly what is being programmed at the film festival...

  • Mecca | August 15, 2011 9:20 AMReply

    The Winnie Mandela biopic "Winnie" is not debuting at TIFF. I am currently volunteering and I know exactly what is being programmed at the film is not listed in the line-up.

    So, I think JHud is lying here. Or she is just really, really confused.

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