“Winnie,” is finally shaping up for release. An early version was shown at the Toronto Film Festival last September, but met with mixed reviews. Then all news about it went cold. Today The Hollywood Reporter says that TD Jakes has taken over as “executive producer” and will be responsible for marketing and distribution.
In fact, Canadian producer Michael Mosca, who made “Winner” with a South African partner, Andre Pietersee, tells me that Jakes is just putting his name on the film in the same way that celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Sean Combs have done to garner interest in a project.
“We are the producers of the film,” Mosca said, “and it’s all done. Equinoxe Films has the rights in Canada. I think there will be distributor screenings in Los Angeles the first two weeks of May, right before Cannes, for a U.S. distributor. We’ll release it in the fall.” Mosca says that since Toronto “Winnie” has undergone several changes and that he’s very happy with it.
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Terrence Howard co-stars as Nelson Mandela. Jakes is an influential evangelist pastor from Dallas with a 30,000 member church. Recently he’s decided to push into the film business, starting with similarly branding his name on “Sparkle” with Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks.