Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Trilogy Films and the Schultz Family Foundation Join Forces to Chronicle the Untold Story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela

 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Trilogy Films, the renowned production company led by award-winning Director Dawn Porter, is thrilled to announce an unprecedented collaboration with the Schultz Family Foundation to produce a feature-length documentary about one of the most iconic, politically-charged partnerships in history: the remarkable, largely untold story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

Based on the book by noted South African writer and scholar Jonny Steinberg, Winnie and Nelson: Portrait of a Marriagethe film will explore the Mandelas’ profound bond and how their marriage was inextricably entangled with the struggle against apartheid. The film promises an intimate portrayal of Nelson and Winnie’s marriage, delving into their vehement and volatile connection from their early years to their mutual goal of dismantling apartheid. Their journey culminates in Nelson Mandela’s historic election as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. This cinematic exploration captures the essence of their indomitable spirits and the global impact of their love and advocacy.

Dawn Porter, celebrated for her exceptional storytelling that explores the overlooked, reveals the consequences of policy and social action, champions the marginalized, and offers a fresh perspective on the familiar, is at the helm of the production. With her profound ability to craft narratives that deeply resonate with and inform audiences, Porter is poised to bring a unique lens to the enduring love story of Nelson and Winnie Mandela.

“Creating a film about Nelson Mandela’s life is an extraordinary privilege, and I am genuinely thrilled about the collaboration with the Schultz Family Foundation and Trilogy Films,” said Dawn Porter. “Nelson Mandela’s journey exemplifies the resilience and capacity for change within the human spirit. We aspire to share this incredible odyssey with audiences around the globe. But his story is incomplete without exploring the relationship with his most influential and intimate advisor – his wife Winnie. There can be no definitive Mandela story without understanding the complicated dynamics of their relationship.”

The collaboration with Trilogy Films marks the Schultz Family Foundation’s first venture into transformative storytelling projects – across scripted and documentary films and series, podcasts, and books – linked to its mission of creating greater opportunity, accessible to all. The Schultz Family Foundation’s involvement transcends financial support; it embodies a philanthropic vision and commitment to tell truthful, aspirational stories that have the power to reveal hidden narratives, spark hope, spotlight solutions, and restore confidence during a time of enormous pessimism, dissension, misinformation, and a fracturing of trust in traditional institutions, leadership, and each other.

“At its heart, Winnie and Nelson is a complicated story of leadership, conflict, love, and extraordinary sacrifice in the face of unfathomable brutality where the future of a democracy was at stake,” said Howard Schultz, co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation and chairman emeritus of Starbucks Corporation. “My wife Sheri and I feel privileged and humbled by the opportunity to partner with such a respected and talented director as Dawn to bring this film to life. We believe in the power of human-centered, aspirational storytelling to nurture our common bonds, foster our shared humanity, and inspire the next generation of leaders, and we look forward to pursuing other projects across many different formats aligned with our family’s philanthropic work and mission.”

About Trilogy Films:

Trilogy Films, founded by award-winning director Dawn Porter, directs and produces non-fiction content that tells untold stories, shares new perspectives, and reveals the complex humanity of some of history’s most iconic figures. Porter's acclaimed films include "Gideon’s Army" (2013), "Spies of Mississippi” (2014), and “Bobby Kennedy for President” (2018). Her latest work, “Luther: Never Too Much,” debuted to rave reviews at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival and was lauded as the best of fest in multiple news outlets. 2023 was a banner year for Porter and Trilogy. The Critics Choice nominated “Lady Bird Diaries," an all archival documentary showcasing Lady Bird Johnson, premiered at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival, while her four-part docuseries "Deadlocked: How America Shaped the Supreme Court” also garnered nominations for a Critics Choice Documentary Award as well as a Film Independent Spirit Award.

About the Schultz Family Foundation:

The Schultz Family Foundation’s mission is to create greater opportunity, accessible to all. Our work is deeply rooted in the lives and values of our co-founders, Sheri and Howard Schultz, who believe talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not. We seek to apply the lessons they have learned over the decades to seed innovations and scale solutions to help young people successfully navigate the transition to adulthood and positively impact the trajectory of their lives. We are investors in unleashing potential and unlocking opportunity, working in partnership with employers, entrepreneurs, non-profits, and governments that share our aspiration of enabling everyone to access the full promise of America. For more information about the Foundation and its work:



Trilogy Films and Director Dawn Porter
Persona PR

Schultz Family Foundation
Zack Hutson, chief communications officer

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