‘The State Against Mandela & the Others’ Comes to IFC Center for One-Week Run

by February 7, 2020

February 11 marks the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison after serving 27 years for his work in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. Now film audiences will have a chance to hear the recently restored audio from the trial which sentenced Mandela and his fellow freedom fighters to life in prison as the documentary The State Against Mandela & The Others comes to the IFC Center in Manhattan on Wednesday, February 19, for a special one-week run during Black History Month.

Directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte with haunting hand-drawn illustrations by artist OERD, the film transports audiences to the courtroom as they hear the voices of Mandela and his lesser known codefendants during the 1963-1964 trial that put the battle for equality in South Africa on the global stage. The documentary captures the first-hand reactions from some of Mandela’s surviving codefendants, and his former wife, Winnie Mandela — in the last film she appeared in — as they hear the audio recordings for the first time in more than five decades.

The State Against Mandela & The Others is presented at the IFC Center by Ezra Ezzard’s ARTIFICATION, one of the nation’s few black-owned distribution companies.

A trailer for the film can be seen here. A press release is below.

The release, press kit and more can be found at the link below. Please let me know if you are interested in reviewing the film or can run a story. Likewise, please let me know if you are interested in speaking with Ezzard about his work and bringing this film to audiences.

NEW YORK (February 6, 2020)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.

The IFC Center is located at 323 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10014. For more information on showtimes, please visit www.ifccenter.com or call 212-924-7771. To purchase tickets, visit the IFC Center website.

The State Against Mandela & The Others
Directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte
Run time: 106 minutes

Artification (www.artification.nyc) is a modern media company founded by Ezra Ezzard. Based in New York, the company is committed to broadening the access, voices, and perspectives of global communities through creative storytelling across multiple mediums and distribution platforms.

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