Sunday, 29 December 2013

From Miss Moneypenny to Mrs Mandela, Naomie Harris on the role of a lifetime

From Miss Moneypenny to Mrs Mandela, Naomie Harris on the role of a lifetime

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela, Naomie Harris takes on her most significant role yet, playing the late South African leader’s wife Winnie in the timely Mandela biopic


Naomi wears a patent leather dress with red lace,£2,135, Jonathan Saunders at The Shop at Bluebird

LIZ HOGGARD
Updated: 14:37, 13 December 2013




'Age 20 I was so broody,’ says Naomie Harris. ‘I’d left home. I was studying at Cambridge. I wanted a child. I’m so glad I had a baby brother, because otherwise I’d have had a child at 20. He was the best form of contraception ever because I realised you’ve got to be seriously ready for a complete life overhaul.’ Today, Harris, 37, who found fame on the small screen in the Channel 4 adaptation of White Teeth in 2002, and in the cinema with 28 Days LaterPirates of the Caribbean and Skyfall, still looks 20, curled up on a sofa in a white dressing gown and slippers. But there is a new gravitas. ‘Babies suck energy and time, and you’ve got to be ready to give all of that up. I wasn’t back then. I definitely feel ready now.’
She says she admires the way her friend Thandie Newton has ‘navigated family and career’. ‘She’s pregnant with her third child now and she’s really successful. From talking to people, having a baby actually makes you a better actor,’ she insists. ‘Because it’s all about life experience. You can only bring what you’ve experienced on to the screen. And this other huge life-changing event, it just makes you more whole, and more able to emote and give more.’
Harris won’t reveal whether she is in a relationship or if she is planning to have a baby alone. At last year’s BAFTAs and the Cannes Film Festival in May she was arm-in-arm with a man called Peter, but she won’t confirm whether today’s warm glow is down to him. ‘I was told very early on not to talk about relationships and I think it’s great advice because it’s all very well when things are going well. I’ve seen that with actresses, they’ve talked about how in love they are, how they’re getting married. And it’s so beautiful to read. But then it doesn’t work out and you've got to answer all those questions about your personal life when it’s still so raw for you.’
She has said that early abandonment by her father has left her wary of forming relationships. Growing up was a struggle for Harris and her Jamaican mother Lisselle Kayla, who was just 18 when she had her daughter.
Harris’ Trinidadian father left before she was born, and she only met him for the first time in 2009. ‘It’s at the root of a lot of my fear about settling down.’
As an adult, she lived for years out of two suitcases ‘like a gypsy’. ‘I’d come back to London and rent a place on a short-term let. But I realised that does your head in. You have to have a home. And doing what I do, you need it even more because you’re constantly uprooting yourself. You need to be really grounded when you get back home. One of my favourite things is cleaning my house. Getting down on my hands and knees is a way of connecting with your roots, putting your energy back into a space.’
Her new home is an Edwardian property in Finsbury Park, on the same street where she grew up and where her mother still lives. ‘I love community. I know pretty much all my neighbours, which is so rare in London.’ She ripped everything out, had a new kitchen and bathroom installed and repainted everywhere. ‘But then you realise you’ve completely taken the soul out of it,’ she laughs. ‘When I first visited, it had a lovely family living there, so it had their spirit and the kids’ dirty handprints on the wall. By doing all that renovation I’d ripped the heart out of it, so now I’m trying to put life back, have kids come round and mess it up.’
Naomie HarrisSequined dress, £2,100, Roksanda Ilincic at selfridges.comWhen Naomie was growing up, her mother was the anchor in her life. Kayla put herself through university, taking Naomie to lectures, where she’d sit colouring in. Later, her mother became a journalist and a scriptwriter for EastEnders. Today she works as a healer specialising in EFT (emotional freedom technique) to release childhood trauma, and helps her daughter overcome her acting nerves. When Harris was 11, her mother married a teacher, and Naomie has a teenage stepbrother and sister. They are close, and visit her on film sets.
Over the past month we’ve seen Harris walk the red carpet in a series of knockout dresses, including a spectacular Vionnet gown, slit at the sides to reveal her sculpted body, to promote her latest film, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, in which she plays Winnie Madikizela — ‘the role of a lifetime’ — opposite The Wire star and Oscar hopeful Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela. Since the death of Nelson Mandela last week the film has taken on even greater historical significance, with the actress at the centre of worldwide premieres that have turned into celebrations of the iconic leader’s life. Harris told CNN: ‘Long before we made this movie I was inspired by the leadership, grace and compassion of Nelson Mandela… I am very proud to be part of our tribute to this extraordinary man.’
Soon she’ll be shooting Bond 24, with Sam Mendes at the helm again. She loves the fact that this is the biggest year of her career, and that both films are partly British. ‘I feel really lucky because I’ve done it on my terms. I’ve done films in America, but I’ve never lived there. London has always been my home. I’ve always wanted to stay here close to my family. And I’ve managed to do it by going back and forth for auditions.’
It’s hard to believe Harris has been acting for 26 years, having become a child actor, aged nine, in BBC children’s shows Simon and the Witch and The Tomorrow People. She got the acting bug early and attended the Anna Scher Theatre School after normal school; by ten she was a regular on BBC children’s television. The money she earned went towards university — she won a place to study social and political sciences at Cambridge. It should have been a great time, but as a skinny Bible-reading teen, she found it hard to socialise. Expecting to sit up into the early hours with like-minded people talking about the meaning of life, she was horrified to encounter binge-drinking Etonians — ‘and there was me, a black girl from Finsbury Park’. She cried most days and went home every weekend.
Today she’s more generous about her fellow students. London is far ahead in terms of race issues, in contrast to America, which can be hugely segregated, she suggests, but it’s class that is our stumbling block. ‘Because you can be wealthy and just go to wealthy schools, and only hang around with wealthy children. And likewise if you’re working class and go to comprehensive school, you never really meet anyone from those kinds of background. The Etonians I went to Cambridge with, it wasn’t their fault. We were just as ignorant of each other, so in a way we’re both to blame. But society is to blame for that as well, because we never got an opportunity to mix until then, and it was too much of a culture shock.’
After Cambridge, she applied to the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Her first job after graduating was Danny Boyle’s futuristic thriller 28 Days Later in 2002, in which she played Selena, a machete-wielding survivor of a virus that has wiped out civilisation. The film’s casting director suggested her for the role of Clara in Channel 4’s adaptation of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. She’d been in the same year as Smith at Cambridge. ‘She was cool. I was nerdy with glasses.’
There’s an old-fashioned innocence about Harris. She doesn’t smoke or drink and she never does naked on screen. ‘I’m not into the sex scenes. I don’t want to go into people’s bedrooms. I think it can be shown without all of that.’ But at 37, she’s grateful that there are more role models and female leads such as 49-year-old Sandra Bullock, currently starring in the chart-topping Gravity. ‘Our real movie stars are actually women past 40 now!’
Naomie HarrisTop, £2,970, Christopher Kane at net-a-porter.comFor Bond, Harris went through nine months of fitness training and learned to stunt-drive and fire machine guns. But Skyfall ended with Eve Moneypenny becoming Bond’s secretary. Surely she’s not going to just be doing the filing in Bond 24? ‘I’ve heard rumours that I’m going to be out in the field,’ she teases, ‘but I haven’t seen a script. Knowing Barbara [Broccoli, the producer], she’s all for women’s lib, isn’t she? She’s extraordinary; she’s completely reinvented the brand, yet kept so true to the essence of what people love about Bond. So I’m sure I won’t be just behind a desk. Or even if I’m behind the desk, there’ll be some twist.’
Harris says she owes her career to Danny Boyle. ‘He really took a risk by giving me the role of Selena in 28 Days Later. That changed everything for me. And ten years later he did it again with Frankenstein at the National Theatre, when he gave me the role of Elizabeth. And that is the reason why I went on to getBond because Sam [Mendes] came to see the play.’ She loves Boyle’s creative fire. ‘He constantly seems to scare and challenge himself — just look at the Olympics.’
Harris likes a challenge, too. She was terrified when she accepted the role of Winnie in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, based on Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. ‘She is a living icon. For some people she’s the devil, for others she’s a complete saint.’ But she succeeds brilliantly in charting Winnie’s transition from the age of 21 to 58, and from passionate young woman to something far darker, without turning her into Lady Macbeth.
When Mandela was sentenced to life in prison, aged 46, Winnie was only 28. Her home was raided daily, she was arrested, and she endured solitary confinement for 18 months. ‘Mandela always says it was worse for Winnie than it was for him. While he was incarcerated the eyes of the world were on him and he did have his comrades with him. Winnie was alone, raising two children with no money.’
In preparation for the role, Harris even got to meet Winnie. ‘Idris managed to set up a meeting for us with her and her daughters. I said to her: “How do you want to be represented?” And she said, “You’ve done your research. You’ve been given this role because you can play it, so I trust you to portray me as you see fit. The most important thing is you play me truthfully.” And that was really liberating.’ At the Johannesburg premiere, Winnie gave the performance her blessing. ‘It’s the greatest accolade,’ she says.
Back home in London, Harris is catching up on normal life. Close friends include Newton and David Oyelowo and Ruth Wilson, her co-stars from the BBC’s adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island. ‘I switched on the TV and saw Ruth is directing a play. What’s going on?’ she laughs.
Would Harris like to do more theatre? ‘No!’ she squeaks. ‘In front of the camera is definitely where I’m most comfortable. I love the fact that in film I get to mess up and then I can do it 20 different ways… With theatre, some nights you hit it and other nights you can’t get in the zone at all. And I feel so sad because the audience didn’t see me at my best.’
This year she’s hosting her first ever family Christmas. ‘It’s going to be terrifying because my mum and my stepdad are amazing cooks, and they normally do a five-course meal. They really go for it. Our family love Christmas.’ She will have to rustle up a very Jamaican menu. ‘We have weird stuff like ackee and saltfish as starters, then mackerel salad as one of the courses. We don’t like turkey but we have chicken and then beef and a pork course, followed by dessert. So it’s mammoth. My mum actually soaks all the Jamaican fruits in rum a year before.’
A teetotaller, Harris avoids the rum cake. ‘People are always urging me to give it a try but I’m 37, I’ve got this far without drinking, so I think I’m OK. I’m playful so when other people get drunk, it’s almost like I get drunk on their high. I love a dance. But,’ she boasts, ‘I don’t have the hangovers and throwing up afterwards.’ ES
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is in cinemas from 3 January
Photographs by Kate Davis-Maclead
Styled by Orsolya Szabo
Hair by Sharon Miller using Paul Mitchell.
Make-up by Kenneth Soh at Frank using Givenchy Le Rouge.
Fashion assistant: Jenny Kennedy.
Shot on location at The Soho Hotel, W1 (firmdalehotels.com)

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Mandela biopic brings greater understanding of ex-wife, says star Naomie Harris

Mandela biopic brings greater understanding of ex-wife, says star Naomie Harris

This photo released by The Weinstein Company shows, Idris Elba, left, as Nelson Mandela, and Naomie Harris, as Winnie Mandela, right, in the film, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, The Weinstein Company, Keith Bernstein

TORONTO - As it runs down the life of late anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, the new film "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" also heavily features his polarizing ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
British actress Naomie Harris, who plays the scandal-plagued Madikizela-Mandela, says she thinks the South African activist "is misconstrued in a lot of ways" and the film "will help to address that."
"I'm not making excuses for any of the heinous things that Winnie is accused of, but I think what this film helps to do is to explain and bring greater understanding about why she became the woman that she became, which is really important," she said in an interview at September's Toronto International Film Festival, where the biopic had its world premiere.
"There's duality in her personality, because on the one hand, yes, she did advocate necklacing and these horrific things during the apartheid regime. But on the other hand, she is ... the woman who kept Mandela's name alive while he was in prison for 27 years. And really, if it wasn't for her doing that, then we might all have forgotten about Mandela. She also was so active with the youth, particularly in Soweto and the anti-apartheid movement there. (It) was a violent uprising largely, in Soweto, but it was also pivotal as well to dismantling apartheid.
"So she did a hell of a lot of good as well as the bad stuff that she did."
Opening Wednesday, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is based on Mandela's 1994 autobiography and runs through his struggles leading the anti-apartheid movement, his 27-year imprisonment and his triumphant rise to the South African presidency.
It also focuses on his marriage to Madikizela-Mandela, who headed the African National Congress Women's League and had a militant role in the anti-apartheid battle.
British actor Idris Elba recently landed a Golden Globe nomination for his spot-on portrayal of Mandela, who died earlier this month at age 95. Justin Chadwick directed with a script by William Nicholson.
It's the only film to have been fully endorsed by the Mandelas and the Mandela Foundation.
Harris said producer Anant Singh wrote to Mandela when he was in prison 26 years ago, asking for the big-screen rights to his story, and developed "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" over 17 years.
Singh and Chadwick asked Harris to play Madikizela-Mandela three years ago when she was shooting the 2010 biographical drama "The First Grader" in Toronto.
"I said yes, because I thought 'I'd love to work with these guys again,' but I had no idea really who Winnie Mandela was, because I saw her as Mandela's wife," she said.
"I didn't know her complexity, so it was a huge shock for me when: No. 1, after 17 years of the film not being made it suddenly came together very, very quickly. ... And then I had to start doing all the research and I found out that Winnie Mendela is this incredibly complex woman and she really polarizes people in terms of their opinions about her.
"So it was very difficult for me, because people had such different ideas about who she was."
Harris's extensive research process for the role culminated with her meeting Madikizela-Mandela, who was involved in the casting and approved both leads.
"I said to her, 'How do you want to be portrayed, how do you want people to see you?' And she said to me, 'Look, I trust you. You've done your research and so I think you should create the role as you see fit,'" said the statuesque star, who played Eve Moneypenny in the most recent Bond film "Skyfall."
"So she gave me free rein, which was incredibly liberating for me — because I had all these voices in my ears, from South Africans saying, 'It should be like this,' and then my director saying, 'It should be like this.'"
Harris said going into the shoot in Cape Town and Johannesburg was intimidating for both her and Elba.
"One of the things he said to me was, 'I'm scared,' and it was great because it was like, 'I'm scared too!' and we could bond on that," said Harris, whose other film credits include "28 Days Later" and the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.
"It was like, 'This is huge, right?' 'Yeah, this is huge for me, too! How are we going to do this?' 'We'll do it together and we'll do it holding each other's hands in a way,' which was one of the nice lines in the movie.
"When Winnie comes to Mandela at the end of the movie and she says, 'Do you want me to hold your hand?' ... it sums up almost the way that Idris and I got through the movie — was by holding each other's hands."

Monday, 23 December 2013

Naomie Harris: I want a baby

Naomie Harris: I want a baby

added: 13 Dec 2013 // by: Film-News.co.uk Newsdesk 

Naomie-Harris:-I-want-a-baby
Naomie Harris is "definitely" ready for a baby.

The 37-year-old actress had her breakthrough in 28 Days Later and has since landed her biggest role to date as Winnie Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Now she is in a comfortable position career wise, Naomie feels better equipped to have a child than she did 17 years ago.

"Age 20 I was so broody. I'd left home. I was studying at Cambridge. I wanted a child. I'm so glad I had a baby brother, because otherwise I'd have had a child at 20. He was the best form of contraception ever because I realised you've got to be seriously ready for a complete life overhaul," she admitted to Britain's Evening Standard Magazine.

"Babies suck energy and time, and you've got to be ready to give all of that up. I wasn't back then. I definitely feel ready now."

Even though she was happy to share her feelings about starting a family Naomie kept her lips sealed about whether she is currently in a relationship. She learnt a lesson about keeping her private life secret at a young age and believes people are more open to getting hurt if their romance is publicised.

"I was told very early on not to talk about relationships and I think it's great advice because it's all very well when things are going well. I've seen that with actresses, they've talked about how in love they are, how they're getting married," she explained.

"And it's so beautiful to read. But then it doesn't work out and you've got to answer all those questions about your personal life when it's still so raw for you."

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Photos: Naomie Harris during a portrait session at the Dubai International Film Festival

Naomie Harris during a portrait session at the 10th Annual Dubai International Film Festival held at the Madinat Jumeriah Complex on December 12, 2013 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.


















Saturday, 21 December 2013

Video: Behind the JET Cover: Idris Elba & Naomie Harris

Behind the JET Cover: Idris Elba & Naomie Harris







Published on 10 Dec 2013
Hear exclusive insights from Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, co-stars in "Long Walk to Freedom," as they shoot their incredible cover with JET magazine. Check it out on newsstands beginning December 16.

Naomie received two nominations at the 34th London Critics Circle Film awards



More kudos for Mandela film



Copy of SI Idris 3
REUTERS
Winnie Mandela sits between British actor Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the movie "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom", and her daughter Zindzi Mandela. Picture: Reuters
Johannesburg - “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” received two nominations at the 34th London Critics Circle Film awards, Videovision said on Wednesday.
Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, received nominations for Supporting Actress of the Year and British Actress of the Year.
The winners will be announced on February 2.
“We congratulate Naomie on receiving these two nominations from the UK’s foremost organisation of film critics,” producer Anant Singh said in a statement.
“This is really a massive achievement, well-deserved and very exciting.”
The London Critics Circle Film Awards are voted for by the UK’s longest standing and most prestigious critical organisation, which has 140 members who between them see every one of the hundreds of films released in the UK each year.
“Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” received three Golden Globe nominations last week.
Idris Elba received the nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama for his role as former president Nelson Mandela.
Alex Heffes received the nomination for Best Original Score, and U2 was nominated for the Best Original Song for “Ordinary Love” which was written for the film.
The movie features local actors including Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa and Terry Pheto.

British actor Idris Elba was among the dignitaries who attended the funeral of the former president Nelson Mandela in Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, on Sunday.
Elba played the character of Mandela in the movie recently released about his life.
Funeral programme director ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa said Elba had been nominated for an award for his portrayal of Mandela in the movie, titled Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.
Talk-show host Oprah Winfrey and US actor Forest Whitaker were also among the dignitaries. - Sapa

Sapa

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Idris Elba on the surreal moment he heard that Nelson Mandela had died 'I looked back at Kate and Prince William and they were just in tears with me'

'I looked back at Kate and Prince William and they were just in tears with me': Idris Elba on the surreal moment he heard that Nelson Mandela had died

Actor Idris Elba has described the 'surreal' moment when he heard Nelson Mandela had died, during the world premiere of his biopic about the statesman, in which he plays the title role. 
He said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in tears when news of the former South African president's death emerged midway through the screening of the film Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom, a fortnight ago.
In an interview with Radio 2's Chris Evans, he said it was 'undoubtedly one of the strangest - and most beautiful - moments of my career'. 
Scroll down for video
Poignant: Idris, pictured in a scene from Mandela: Long walk to Freedom, found out the statesman had died during the film's premiere
Poignant: Idris, pictured in a scene from Mandela: Long walk to Freedom, found out the statesman had died during the film's premiere
Emotional: The Duchess of Cambridge looked tearful as she was seen leaving the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Emotional: The Duchess of Cambridge looked tearful as she was seen leaving the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Elba explained: 'Literally halfway through the film Mandela had passed and there was sort of a slight buzz around the auditorium.
'Interestingly, the Duchess, Kate, sort of turned to me and looked at me as she had her phone and I wondered what was wrong with her because she looked quite emotional, but the film's very emotional.
    'And my girlfriend looked at me and handed the phone and I looked down and Mandela had passed and it was on a website. 
    Special screening: Idris Elba chats to Prince William before the premiere of his film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    Special screening: Idris Elba chats to Prince William before the premiere of his film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    Cast: The Duchess of Cambridge chats to actress Naomie Harris about her role in the film as Winnie Mandela
    Cast: The Duchess of Cambridge chats to actress Naomie Harris about her role in the film as Winnie Mandela
    Memories: Idris met Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela at the screening
    Memories: Idris met Nelson Mandela's daughter Makaziwe Mandela at the screening
    'It was just the most surreal moment. I looked back at Kate and Prince William and they were just in tears with me. It was just odd. very odd.
    'There's a moment in the film and I play older Mandela and he says this one line and it is 'just open the gate and let me free' - and I kid you not, that that was that line when we heard the news that was on the screen.'
    He and the film's producers decided he should make an announcement to guests who had gathered within the Odeon Leicester Square cinema in London.
    Role of a lifetime: Idris plays the role of Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    Role of a lifetime: Idris plays the role of Nelson Mandela in the film Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
    'It only felt appropriate to say what had happened and honestly there was an audible gasp in the auditorium.
    'Some people didn't know, they had their phones off. It was just surreal.
    'It was very odd, after seeing the credits and I walk on stage. They were giving me a nice round of applause but it was just this moment where I had to say please sit down, and announcing the official speech from president Zuma of South Africa. It was just weird.' 
    Co-stars: Idris Elba and Naomie Harris play the roles of Nelson and Winnie Mandela
    Co-stars: Idris Elba and Naomie Harris play the roles of Nelson and Winnie Mandela


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2526459/Idris-Elba-tells-surreal-moment-heard-Nelson-Mandela-died.html#ixzz2nyQMjOGN
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Idris Elba and Naomie on the cover of Jet Magazine



    IDRIS ELBA & NAOMIE HARRIS COVER JET MAGAZINE



    Idris Elba and Naomie Harris Jet Magazine Idris Elba & Naomie Harris Cover JET Magazine
    ‘Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom’ stars Idris Elba and Naomie Harris graced the cover of JET magazine.
    Inside the issue, the two dished on what it was like to play in the biopic for Nelson Mandela and his former wife Winnie Mandela. Idris said it has been his biggest role yet.At first I wasn’t sure that the role was for me. I expected that they’d want an older actor, someone more distinguished, like Denzel Washington. Plus, I was really stuck on the way Mandela looks and the way I Iook.
    Naomie on reservations about the Winnie Mandela role:
    I felt more like a researcher than an actor at one point. But then I interviewed her and that’s when everything really gelled for me.
    Idris Elba Naomie Harris cover JET Magazine Idris Elba & Naomie Harris Cover JET Magazine

    Photos of Naomie at the Oxfam Charity Gala during Dubai International Film Festival















    Video Naomie Harris Talks About Touching Mandela Film Tribute

    Naomie Harris Talks About Touching Mandela Film Tribute
    Naomie Harris talks about how the film "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom" was screened at the memorial for Nelson Mandela and the carpet was blackened and lit by candle light.





    Wednesday, 18 December 2013

    Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, will be honored as actor and actress of the year by the Capri, Hollywood Film Festival

    Italy's Capri, Hollywood Fest to Premiere 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'

    Mandela Long Walk To Freedom
    Idris Elba in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"

    Fest director Pascal Vicedomini says the civil rights 

    icon's passing has inspired an unofficial section for 

    films about Africa and African-Americans.

    ROME -- Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, stars of Justin Chadwick's Mandela: Long Walk
     to Freedom, will be honored as actor and actress of the year by the upcoming Capri, Hollywood
    Film Festival, organizers said Monday.

    The
     Nelson Mandela biopic, which will go into wide release in the U.S. on Christmas day, 

    will have its Italian premiere at the Italian island festival five days later.
    The festival also announced Monday it would screen two other films: Lee Daniels' The Butler -- 
    about a White House butler (played by Forrest Whitaker) who served eight presidents -- and Fruitvale Station, a drama from Ryan Coogler narrating the story of Oscar Grant
    the African-American youth who was fatally shot in the back by a Bay Area Rapid Transit 
    officer.
    Combined with Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, previously announced to screen at the 
    Capri Fest, the films form a sort of subplot focused on Africans and African Americans.
    "The emotions generated by the death of Nelson Mandela, a global icon for human rights, encouraged us to create a festival section dedicated to films promoting tolerance, solidarity, and respect for migrants," said Pascal Vicedomini, the founder of the 18-year-old Capri festival.
    The festival, which takes place on the scenic island of Capri, off the coast of Naples, runs from 
    Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, 2014. It is traditionally the last film festival of each calendar year and the 
    first of the following year. In the past, Capri Hollywood Fest honors have been a harbinger 
    of good fortune for several films.
    Twitter: @EricJLyman