TV

Broadcasters line up Nelson Mandela docs

Broadcasters around the world are adding Nelson Mandela documentaries to their schedules in the wake of his death on December 5.
December 6, 2013

Broadcasters around the world are adding Nelson Mandela documentaries to their schedules in the wake of his death on December 5.

Among the tributes to the South African leader, Discovery Networks International (DNI) will roll out The Making of Mandela across 224 countries on Discovery Channel.

The hour-long doc, produced by Darlow Smithson Productions, will premiere on Discovery Channel UK tonight (December 6) at 8 p.m., with Discovery Channel South Africa and Discovery Channel U.S. airing the special on December 8.

The program will feature interviews with Mandela’s closest friends and associates, including former South African president FW De Klerk; American political activist Jesse Jackson; the British TV presenter who landed the first global interview with Mandela, Brian Widlake; and Dr. Niel Barnard, head of the National Intelligence Service in South Africa at the time of Mandela’s captivity.

Narrated by British actor David Harewood, the special also intersperses Mandela’s recordings for his book, A Long Walk to Freedom, to provide a chronicle of Mandela’s life from his fight for equal rights as a young lawyer, to his 27 years in prison, and ultimately to his freedom.

In the U.S., cable network TV One has aired a pair of docs on the former South African president, Nelson Mandela: One Man and Music for Mandela, on December 5 and this morning (December 6).

Mandela: One Man focuses Mandela’s accomplishments throughout his life as an activist and politician, while Music for Mandela looks at the role music played in his life, with input from his closest friends, exiled musicians and current international artists.

Canada’s pubcaster CBC has slotted a special presentation of Madiba: The Life and Times of Nelson Mandela into its ‘Doc Zone’ strand, while CBC News Network’s ‘The Passionate Eye’ will air the two-hour doc on December 7.

The ‘Doc Zone’ film is updated to include interviews with Mandela and key figures in South Africa’s history.

In Australia, SBS One commemorated Mandela with Nelson Mandela: The Final Chapter,  a doc directed by Clifford Bestall.

Boasting unprecedented access to the man, the film follows his 90th year and his retreat from public life, and includes footage of Mandela’s last tour abroad, as well as private meetings with admirers, celebrities, heads-of-state and more.

Also in Australia, Nine Network lined up Nelson Mandela: Warrior for Peace and Mandela: The Struggle is My Life aired on Network 10.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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