Mandela Long Walk to Freedom premiere: pictures

News of Mandela's death broke during the screening in London

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The Independent Culture

News of Mandela's death broke during the premiere of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom last night, with screams heard in the audience.

Speaking before the screening, Mandela's daughter Zindzi unwittingly said her father was doing well. She was later told during the film her 95-year-old father had died peacefully at home.

Click here or on 'view gallery' for more pictures from the premiere

Fellow audience members were not informed of the death until after the film.

Idris Elba, who plays Mandela in the film, reportedly wiped away tears on hearing the news.

After the film, Elba and producer Harvey Weinstein took to the stage to hold a moment's silence for the late South African leader.

Speaking at the premiere, Idris said: “What an honour it was to step into the shoes of Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were also at the premiere, said the news was “extremely sad and tragic”.

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The Duke of Cambridge meets Zindzi Mandela (right) before the premiere

Weinstein said: “One of the privileges of making movies is having the opportunity to immortalise those who have made a profound impact on humanity. We count ourselves unspeakably fortunate to have been immersed in Nelson Mandela's story and legacy.

“It's been an honour to have been granted such proximity to a man who will go down as one of history's greatest freedom fighters and advocates for justice.

“I have had the privilege of spending time with President Mandela and I can say his sense of humour was as great as his optimism. We are deeply saddened by his loss; our hearts go out to his family and the entire South African nation.”


Video: Nelson Mandela passes away