OWN Acquires TV Rights to ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’

Variety

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OWN has landed the TV rights to the Idris Elba starrer “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” The Weinstein Co.’s Nelson Mandela biopic will bow on Oprah Winfrey’s cabler in 2017.

Deal is a sign of OWN’s appetite for high-profile feature film acquisitions that are on-target for the cabler’s core female and African American demographics. “Long Walk to Freedom” has generated awards buzz, particularly for star Elba. The film has taken on more significance as its release coincided with the death of the South African leader earlier this month at the age of 95.

“We couldn’t be more honored to showcase this powerful film to the OWN viewers,” said OWN president Erik Logan. “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.”

Winfrey has also been in biz with Weinstein Co. this year as co-star of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” She’s up for a SAG Award for supporting actress as well as motion picture ensemble cast for her work opposite Forest Whitaker.

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