Santa Monica, CA (BlackNews.com) – LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), the leading next generation studio, announced today that Lee Daniels‘ “Precious: Based On The Novel PUSH By Sapphire,” has won the Cadillac People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The award was announced at the festival’s closing ceremony.
Daniels, who is currently in Spain where the film premieres at the San Sebastian International Film Festival this evening, provided a statement presented by Laurie May, co-President of the film’s Canadian distributor Maple Pictures, which read in part:
“First and foremost, I would like to dedicate this award to Cameron Bailey, whose support of me, and belief in my work from the beginning with The Woodsman, Shadowboxer and now Precious is unparalleled. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the Toronto audiences as well – this award holds such an important meaning to me because I made this film for every person out there who ever looked in the mirror and felt unsure about the person looking back. This is not an art film for a select few, this is a movie that I hope everyone can relate to. There is nothing more special than being honored by the public, by my peers.” See more A.T.J.
Joe Drake, the President of Lionsgate’s Film Group, said of Mr. Daniels’ accomplishment, “From Utah to Canada, two places that could hardly be more different than 1980’s Harlem, audiences have seen what we saw in the film, what Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry also saw in the film — that thing that made all of us respond immediately by asking ‘How can I be involved?’ We are so thrilled to watch this response mount with each of the film’s festival audiences.” Daniels previously collaborated with Lionsgate on 2001’s Monster’s Ball, which he produced.
The film received the Grand Jury Prize, the Audience Award, and the US Special Jury Prize for Acting for star Mo’Nique at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, an extremely rare triple honor. It was also announced earlier this week that “Precious: Based On The Novel PUSH By Sapphire” was honored alongside “Sin Nombre” with the Prix Du Jury at the Deauville American Film Festival in Deauville, France.
Lee Daniels’ PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome.
Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write.
Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.
In Official Selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard, and winner of three awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival including the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introducing Gabourey Sidibe.
Lionsgate in association with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry present A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production of PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher based on the novel Push by Sapphire. The film is produced by Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, and Gary Magness. Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortés, and Tom Heller are Executive Producers; Simone Sheffield serves as Co-Executive Producer; Mark G. Mathis is Co-Producer; and Asger Hussain serves as Associate Producer.
Precious: Based On The Novel PUSH By Sapphire will open in select cities on November 6, 2009.
For more information, visit: www.weareallprecious.com