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OWN Acquires 'Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom' From The Weinstein Company

by Tambay A. Obenson
December 30, 2013 3:12 PM
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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that it has secured the network television rights to Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the critically acclaimed film from the Weinstein Company based on the 1995 book Long Walk to Freedom and former South African President Nelson Mandela, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris.  

OWN has licensed the first broadcast window behind pay television beginning in 2017.

The film chronicles Mandela’s early life, coming of age, education and 27 years spent in prison before becoming President and working to rebuild the country’s once segregated society.  

Idris Elba stars as Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris stars as Winnie Mandela, with Justin Chadwick directing.

“We couldn’t be more honored to showcase this powerful film to the OWN viewers,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN. “Nelson Mandela was Oprah’s hero, and ultimately, the inspiration behind Oprah’s school in South Africa.  His story of forgiveness and redemption is a gift not only to the people he touched, but to the world.”

Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein, “We’re delighted that this film has landed a television home at Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network. Partnering with them ensures the picture will continue to honor the memory of Nelson Mandela for years to come.”

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More: TV News, Idris Elba, Naomie Harris

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  • Miles Ellison | December 31, 2013 1:19 PMReply

    Two things. By 2017, everybody who wants to see this will have seen it, and most of the audience that has contributed to OWN's resurgence by supporting Tyler Perry shows and sensationalist tabloid garbage probably has no interest in watching it anyway.

  • ao | December 30, 2013 4:10 PMReply

    2017! Are they kidding? That's 3 years from now. Do they realize that films have simultaneous theatrical and VOD releases? Anything longer than a year from initial release is ridiculous. What's going to be going on with the film in the meantime? Hope OWN didn't pay too much for a 3 year old film, even if it is about Nelson Mandela. Three years is a long time, especially in this fast moving worlds of technology and entertainment.

  • Rodney | December 30, 2013 8:18 PM

    In addition to DVDs, Showtime has an exclusive pay tv window for theatrically released films from TWC that precedes any broadcast or basic cable network exposure.

  • Ava | December 30, 2013 7:12 PM

    There's no way that TWC is going to allow Long Walk To Freedom to air on broadcast TV in less than 2 years, not when they have DVDs (probably a Collector's Edition) to attempt to sell. Yes, I imagine, they will still try to sell some DVDs because Hollywood is the last to adapt (behind the Music Industry, of course).
    Yeah, I kind of snickered when I saw 2017 but that's probably the earliest OWN or anyone on broadcast can get it. And even though, most of the planet will have seen it by then, you know Oprah is still going to toot that horn about being the first on TV, even if it isn't that big of a deal.
    I mean come on...this is the channel whose biggest hits are two TP series.

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