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Panel: The Sundance Premiere of "The Power of Words"

In conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival, filmmaker Kweku Mandela, along with filmmakers Nabil Elderkin and Tyler Strachan, discuss “The Power of Words,” a film project undertaken by the Tribeca Film Institute, Montblanc and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to honor the legacy of Mandela’s grandfather, Nelson Mandela.

Mandela, on maintaining his grandfather’s legacy: “A big part of what [“The Power of Words”] has done is shown me just how much love and appreciation people have for what my grandfather stood for. [The project] made me realize the importance of carrying that on in my own small way through storytelling, through film, and it made me want to tell other great people’s legacies and spread those with the younger generations.”

Mandela, on making history relevant to the current generation: “There are many men and women who have had an impact on our world, and when you look back at them through the prism of a history book, you look back at them as potential idols. It distances you from ever feeling like you can aspire to be like them or to achieve what they achieved, and I don’t think that’s true. We all have a voice. We all have unique abilities, and we can all impact our world in a positive way.”

Mandela, on his grandfather’s resilience: “[My grandfather] went into prison as a relatively young man and came out as an old man, and he didn’t have a true concept of the world he was coming into. He had to adapt really quickly. That’s one of the unique things about him – he always kept his mind young. He always kept young at heart.”