Winfrey, Tyler Perry push new film “Precious”

The Associated Press

TORONTO – Lee Daniels has an Oscar-winning movie to his credit, but he still needed some big-time help to draw attention to his latest film about a girl who overcomes crushing abuse.

He got it from Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. They are the executive producers of “Precious,” which had a premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival over the weekend.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Winfrey said she was happy to help bring more attention to the film.

“Everyone needs someone to help them navigate. I had Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier and Maya Angelou who I look to. You can’t do that on your own. Someone has to show it to you.”
Daniels, who directed “Precious,” produced “Monster’s Ball,” which won Halle Berry an Oscar for best actress in 2002.

“Precious” was adapted from Sapphire’s novel “Push.” It tells the story of an illiterate black girl who manages to rise above poverty, sexual and mental abuse. The film, which stars Mo’Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton and others, won the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and has been generating Oscar buzz.

Still, Daniels believes the cachet of Winfrey and hit filmmaker Perry will help the film, which comes out Nov. 6, build a greater audience.

“I couldn’t wait to get here because I love it so much and I couldn’t wait to see it again. I am just really excited,” said Carey.