Unique: Gotham Award Winner Don Porter (Luther: never too much) will direct and produce a documentary about one of the most iconic, politically significant partnerships in history: the remarkable, largely untold story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. She will also produce through her Trilogy Films, with the Schultz Family Foundation.
based on Vinnie and Nelson: Portrait of a MarriageBased on a book by renowned South African author and scholar Jonny Steinberg, the film will explore the Mandelas’ deep bond and how their marriage was entangled in the struggle against apartheid. The film promises to be an intimate portrayal of Nelson and Winnie’s marriage, highlighting their tumultuous and volatile relationship from their formative years to their mutual goal of dismantling apartheid. His journey culminated in the historic election of Nelson Mandela as the first democratically elected President of South Africa.
The project marks the Schultz Family Foundation’s first venture into storytelling projects – including scripted and documentary films and series, podcasts and books – aligned with its mission to create greater opportunities for all, accessible to all.
“Making a film about the life of Nelson Mandela is an extraordinary privilege, and I am truly thrilled to be collaborating with the Schultz Family Foundation and Trilogy Films,” Porter told Deadline. “Nelson Mandela’s journey exemplifies the resilience and capacity for change within the human spirit. We look forward to sharing this incredible odyssey with audiences around the world. But his story is incomplete without exploring his relationship with his most influential and intimate advisor – his wife Winnie. There can be no definitive story of Mandela without understanding the complex dynamics of their relationship.
Howard Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation and chairman emeritus of Starbucks Corporation, said: “At its core, vinny and nelson It is a complex story of leadership, struggle, love and extraordinary sacrifice in the face of unfathomable brutality where the future of democracy was at stake. My wife Sherry and I feel fortunate and humbled to have the opportunity to partner with such a respected and talented director as Don to bring this film to life. We believe in the power of human-centered, ambitious storytelling to nurture our common connections, foster our shared humanity, and inspire the next generation of leaders, and we are partnering with our family’s philanthropic work to support many different -Look forward to pursuing other projects in different formats and objectives.”
Founded by Porter in 2009, Trilogy Films focuses on non-fiction content that tells untold stories, shares new perspectives, and reveals the complex humanity of some of history’s most iconic figures. Porter’s acclaimed films include Gideon’s army (2013), mississippi spies (2014), and Bobby Kennedy for President (2018). His latest work, Luther: never too much, 2024 debuted at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews. The year before, she had earned Critics’ Choice Award nominations for both Lady Bird Diaries And Standoff: How America shaped the Supreme CourtGiven that the latter also received an Independent Spirit Award nomination.
Porter is repped by CAA.
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