Exclusive Photo: Jennifer Hudson in ‘Winnie’

Jennifer Hudson in 'Winnie.'

Blackactors.net has an exclusive first-look image of Jennifer Hudson in the upcoming Winnie Mandela biopic.

The epic motion picture “Winnie” is currently filming on location in South Africa. The Oscar® winner heads up the cast in the role, with Academy Award® nominated actor, Terrence Howard (“Crash”), in the role of Nelson Mandela. Canadian artists are Elias Koteas (“Shutter Island”), who plays the role of ‘apartheid’ Brigadier “De Vries”, and Wendy Crewson (“Air Force One”) in the role of “Marie Botha”, who becomes a social worker in South Africa after witnessing a police assault on a black youth. Among the 100-strong South African cast are newcomer Unathi Khapela, as young Winnie, Professor Mavuso, Nomsa Xaba, Bongi Mbongwe, Jennifer Steyn, Leleti Khumalo (“Yesterday”) as ‘Adelaide Tambo’, Hlomla Dandala as ‘Oliver Tambo’, and Deon Kotze as F.W. de Klerk.

The South Africa-Canadian co-production is helmed by renowned filmmaker, Darrell James Roodt (“Yesterday,” “Cry,” “The Beloved Country,” “Sarafina!”) and is produced by Andre Pieterse through his production entity Ma-Afrika Films, South Africa, alongside Michael Mosca of Equinoxe Films, Canada. Philo Pieterse of Philo Films serves as Executive Producer, with Johan Kruger as Co-producer and Rocky Bester as Line Producer.

The screenplay, penned by Pieterse and Roodt, is based on the book “Winnie Mandela: A Life” by Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob, a former journalist.

Roodt’s Yesterday was the first South African film to attract the attention of the ®Academy, and was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category in 2005.

The film is shot in and around Johannesburg, and Cape Town, the Transkei and Robben Island – where Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years incarcerated before becoming the country’s first Black president. Principal photography is scheduled to wrap toward the end of August 2010.

(Photo Credit: Ilze Kitzhoff/Ma-Afrika Films)