Pan African Film Festival
TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD
2006 LA PAN-AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA WINS BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD AT 2006 LA PAN-AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Thomas Allen Harris’ TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA was awarded the juried Best Documentary prize at the recent Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival. The film’s US premiere and gala reception benefited the LA-based Black AIDS Network. The National Black Program Consortium, the South African Consulate General in Los Angeles, and Artists for a New South Africa, jointly sponsored the event. Anna Deavere Smith was the honorary host.
In TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA, director Thomas Allen Harris embarks on a journey of reconciliation when confronted by the death of Pule Benjamin Leinaeng, the stepfather who raised him. "Lee" was an ANC foot soldier and as part of the first wave of South African exiles, left in 1960 with his eleven comrades to broadcast to the world the brutality of the apartheid system and to raise support for the ANC and its leaders, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo.
TWELVE DISCIPLES screened to sold-out audiences at the Pan African Film Festival, which also screened Harris’s earlier documentaries, VINTAGE-FAMILIES OF VALUE (1995) and E MINHA CARA/THAT’S MY FACE (2001) as part of a mini-retrospective. Together the three documentaries constitute a trilogy entitled, The Paulding Avenue Trilogy –based on Harris’s experience growing up in a Pan-African household in the Bronx in the 1970’s & 80’s.
TWELVE DISCIPLES made its world debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and its African premiere at the Cape Town World Cinema Festival. The film has also been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.
TWELVE DISCIPLES OF NELSON MANDELA is a co-production of the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with P.O.V./American Documentary and the National Black Programming Consortium. The film will make its U.S. television premier on PBS’ P.O.V. series later this year. Harris produced the film together with Rudean Leinaeng, Woo Jung Cho and Don Perry and executive producer St. Clair Bourne. Vernon Reid composed an original score. The film was edited by Sam Pollard and Sabine Hoffman with Paul Carter Harrison as a script consultant. TWELVE DISCIPLES was produced by Harris’ New York-based Chimpanzee Productions and co-produced by Johannesburg-based Curious Pictures. Funding was also provided in part by the South African Free State Ministry of Sports, Culture, Science and Technology and National Endowment for the Arts.