Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom made its debut in India last night with a gala premiere in Mumbai with Executive Producer, Sudhir Pragjee and actors Terry Pheto (Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn) and Atandwa Kani (the young Mandela) representing the film. Making a star turn at the event was Bollywood great, Amitabh Bachchan who was the guest of honour. A host of other Bollywood personalities including actors, producers and directors who were eager to see the much anticipated film were also present. The audience reaction was unanimously positive. Before the screening, Bachchan who is a former ambassador of Nelson Mandela’s global anti HIV/AIDS campaign, shared the stage with Terry Pheto, Atandwa Kani and Sudhir Pragjee and interacted with media sharing his experiences in South Africa and his meetings with Nelson Mandela.
Speaking at the event, Bachchan said, “I feel very privileged and very honoured to be here today at the launch of this film in our country. Privileged and honoured because of the man who has been encapsulated in the film. His contribution to the world, to the universe, to society at large and to all people who believed in equality and dignity and those are the things that impressed me the most. I have a long history with South Africa and a very pleasant one indeed with not only the people of South Africa, but indeed Mr. Nelson Mandela himself.”
Bachchan continued speaking about his personal relationships in South Africa, “I have formed a very strong association for over 25 years with Sudhir Pragjee and my dear friend Anant Singh who produced this film. Anant, Sudhir and myself had the very first concert from the Indian Film Industry in South Africa, way back in 1991 when the country was still reeling under the pressures of apartheid and we were the first Indian group that was allowed to perform there, and this was possible primarily due to the efforts made by Mr. Nelson Mandela, and it was he and his party, the African National Congress who gave us the permission to perform there. Since then I had the very big honour of meeting Mr. Mandela on two separate occasions and those memories are with me always.”
Executive Producer, Sudhir Pragjee commented, “Premiering Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom in India is really special for us as India always supported our liberation movement. It is also significant as India was one of the first countries Madiba visited after his release from prison. We are also delighted to have had our long time friend, Amitabh Bachchan to share this occasion with us.”
The film will be released on Friday, 24 January throughout India on more than 100 screens.
About Amitabh Bachchan: Amitabh Bachchan is an Indian film actor. He first gained popularity in the early 1970s as the “angry young man” of Hindi cinema, and has since appeared in over 180 Indian films in a career spanning more than four decades. Bachchan is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential actors in the history of Indian cinema. He was voted “Star of Stage and Screen of the Millennium” in a BBC online poll in 1999. Bachchan made his Hollywood debut in 2013 with The Great Gatsby, in which he played Meyer Wolfsheim.