THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA & THE OTHER to Run at the IFC Center in New York

By: Feb. 10, 2020
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THE STATE AGAINST MANDELA & THE OTHER to Run at the IFC Center in New York

ARTIFICATION brings The State Against Mandela & The Others, a documentary by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, to cinemas nationwide starting with a run at the IFC Center in New York, 30 years after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. The film takes audiences to the courtroom for the 1963-1964 trial which resulted in his imprisonment, allowing them to hear the recently restored audio of the court proceedings against the late ANC leader and his eight lesser-known codefendants - men who boldly turned the tables, putting the Apartheid system itself on trial at risk of the death penalty. Hauntingly powerful illustrations by OERD (Oerd van Cuijlenborg) bring the recorded words of the judge and accused to life while shining the spotlight on those who stood with Madiba but were largely relegated to the shadows of history. The film opens on February 19 for a one-week run during Black History Month followed by an expansion into other markets thereafter.

The film depicts the drama of the Rivonia Trial, named after the Johannesburg suburb where many African National Congress leaders were arrested. Reactions of the then surviving codefendants - Denis Goldberg, Ahmed Kathrada and Andrew Mlangeni - part of the multiracial coalition of freedom fighters, their attorneys, Winnie Mandela and other loved ones are captured as they hear the audio files of the trial for the first time in 50 years. The documentary was the last film that Winnie Mandela appeared in before her passing in 2018.

Following successful screenings at the Cannes Film Festival, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the New York Jewish Film Festival, the film also makes history as it is being released by one of the nation's few black film distributors, Ezra Ezzard's ARTIFICATION. The media company is focused on providing pathways for stories that center artists and people of color, creating access and growth - as the lack of diversity in the film industry, in front of and behind the camera, continues to dominate the news.

"The story of Mandela and the other accused, their belief in justice and equality for all, is a message that we hope will resonate with audiences and inspire people from all backgrounds to confront some of the serious issues plaguing our world today," said Ezzard, founder and CEO of ARTIFICATION. "We are looking forward to sharing this film with audiences around the country and driving conversation about a new generation of leadership, this historical moment as an example of unity, hope and true reconciliation."

In addition to Mandela, Goldberg, Kathrada and Mlangeni, the accused included Lionel Bernstein, Bob Hepple, James Kantor, Govan Mbeki, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi and Walter Sisulu. Eight were given life sentences. Bernstein was acquitted.

Mandela was convicted and released after serving 27 years in prison on February 11, 1990 in the wake of a global firestorm ignited against Apartheid and the South African government. He went on to become the President of the African nation.


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