Precious: Film Attracts Big Name Fans

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"Precious," directed by Lee Daniels and starring Gabby Sidibe, is the feature film adaptation of the novel "Push," written by Sapphire. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and is being released on November 6 by Lionsgate.

Originally titled PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, PRECIOUS made its world premiere in the American Dramatic Competition program at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.  The breakout hit of the festival, the film garnered three awards, including the top award, the Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award and a Special Acting Award for Mo’Nique.  PRECIOUS soon found a home at Lionsgate, which had previously teamed with Daniels on MONSTER’S BALL.  The PRECIOUS family grew quickly: Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry came on board as executive producers and are presenting the film with Lionsgate; and singer Mary J. Blige wrote and recorded a new song for the film, “I Can See in Color.”

Winfrey describes her reaction upon seeing the film: “I’ve never seen anything like it.  The moment I saw PRECIOUS, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The film is so raw and powerful – it split me open.”

Adds Perry, “When I started watching this film I was taken back 25 years to my childhood, when life was rough.  By the time it was over, I was changed.  PRECIOUS is filled with so much hope, and I really think it has the power to change lives.”

In May, Daniels and several members of the cast travelled to the Cannes Film Festival, where PRECIOUS screened in the “Un Certain Regard” section.  As it had at Sundance, PRECIOUS drew cheers and standing ovations from audiences, and its message of hope and triumph inspired more than one person to stop the filmmakers to share their stories.  “It’s been so moving to know that the film has affected such different people,” acknowledges Daniels.  “Eighty-year-old Japanese ladies tell me they feel like they’re Precious, and they hug me and they hold me.  I think that there is Precious in all of us.”