Category Archives: Lee Daniels

The Butler. Forest Whitaker. Oprah Winfrey. Trailer.

A look at the life of Eugene Allen, who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made.

The film is inspired and based on Wil Haygood’s Washington Post article about a black man — Eugene Allen — who served as White House butler under eight presidents for over thirty years.

Lee Daniels’ Precious @ Toronto International Film Festival

The New York film critic Betsy Sharkey wrote an excellent piece on filmmaker Lee Daniels and his film – Precious – based on author Sapphire’s Push novel. Betsy Sharkey interviews Lee Daniels before he jets out to the Toronto International Film Festival [TIFF] press conference and premiere of Precious on Sunday, September 13. The introspective piece is featured in Los Angeles Times Presents The Envelope and you can read the complete interview @

Smokewood Entertainment Group

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire screens at Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, September 13 @ 9:30pm in Roy Thomson Hall and on Monday, September 14 @ 12:30pm in Winter Garden Theater. To see TIFF’s description and press coverage on Precious, visit and

Producers Gary Magness and Sarah Siegel-Magness’ Smokewood Entertainment Group’s Precious hits theaters on Friday, November 6.

Gabourey ‘Gabbie’ Sidibe’s Precious – Trailer

I’ve known about author Sapphire [Ramona Lofton]’s Push since 1999 when she first appeared on The Charlie Rose Show and have wanted to read her book since. Then the 1996 published Push was later optioned for adaptation, began shooting on 10/24/2007 and screened at 2009 Sundance Film Festival, where it won three awards: the U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and the Special Jury Prize for Acting (Mo’Nique).

Push was retitled as Precious when Lionsgate purchased director Lee Daniels’ film @ Sundance with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry presenting the incredible film. And finally today, the trailer is here. So click the image [below] to view the full trailer.

Precious is about Clareece “Precious” Jones – an overweight, illiterate African-American teenager in Harlem in 1987. Just as she’s about to give birth to her second child, Jones is accepted into an alternative school where a teacher helps her find a new path in her life.

Precious rolls into theaters on Friday, November 6.

Update: I’ve embed the trailer and official synopsis: Set in Harlem in 1987, it is the story of Claireece Precious Jones, 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, 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, Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

2009 Sundance Film Festival – Awards Ceremony

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival has come to a close and the award ceremony was held at Park City’s Racquet Club last night and here are the award winners:

Bryan Bedder / Getty Images

Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary We Live in Public
Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire
World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary Rough Aunties
World Cinema Jury Prize: Dramatic The Maid (La Nana)
Audience Award: U.S. Documentary The Cove
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic Push
World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary Afghan Star
World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic An Education
Directing Award: U.S. Documentary El General, director Natalia Almada
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic Sin Nombre, written and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga
World Cinema Directing Award: Documentary Afghan Star, directed by Havana Marking
World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic Five Minutes of Heaven, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award Nicholas Jasenovec and Charlyne Yi, Paper Heart
World Cinema Screenwriting Award Guy Hibbert, Five Minutes of Heaven
U.S. Documentary Editing Award Sergio
World Cinema Documentary Editing Award Burma VJ
Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary The September Issue, cinematographer Bob Richman
Excellence in Cinematography Award: U.S. Dramatic Sin Nombre, cinematographer Adriano Goldman
World Cinema Cinematography Award: Documentary Big River Man, director/cinematographer John Maringouin
World Cinema Cinematography Award: Dramatic An Education, cinematographer John De Borman
World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Originality Louise-Michel
World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary Tibet in Song
World Cinema Special Jury Prize for Acting Catalina Saavedra, The Maid (La Nana)
Special Jury Prize: U.S. Documentary Good Hair
Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence Humpday
Special Jury Prize for Acting Mo’Nique, Push: Based on the novel by Sapphire


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