D Films has acquired all Canadian rights in all media to South African film-maker Darrell Roodt’s upcoming Winnie Mandela biopic starring Jennifer Hudson.

Terrence Howard will play Nelson Mandela in Winnie, which has been lined up for a May 31 start in the South African locales of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Robben Island, the site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment for 18 years.

Hudson will portray the controversial figure as she endures her husband’s imprisonment, constant harassment by the security police, banishment to a small Free State town, betrayal by friends and allies, and more than a year in solitary confinement.

Darrell Roodt, Paul Johnson and Andre Pieterse co-wrote the screenplay based on the book Winnie Mandela - A Life by Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob.

Michael Mosca of Equinoxe Films and Pieterse of Ma-Afrika Films are producing.

“We are proud to be partners with Equinoxe on this powerful and passionate film,” D Films president and CEO Jim Sherry said. “It’s exciting to be involved in a project with such a talented filmmaker and production team and the stellar cast they have attracted. We look forward to bringing WINNIE to Canadian audiences.”

“We’re very happy to be working with Jim Sherry and his team at D Films,” Equinoxe president and CEO Michael Mosca added. “I’m confident that Winnie is in very capable hands, and I can’t think of a better marketing and distribution partner to handle this film in Canada.”