A Minute With: director Lee Daniels on "Broadway"

Thu Sep 2, 2010 9:33am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Independent filmmaker Lee Daniels got a big push for his movie "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire" when Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry signed on as executive producers after the film's Sundance Film Festival premiere in 2009.

"Precious" went on to be nominated for several Academy Awards, including best picture and best director for Lee. At the Oscars in February, it took home awards for best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress for Mo'Nique.

With some newfound notoriety, Daniels has now attached his own name to an independent film, "Prince of Broadway," that he first saw as a juror at the Independent Spirit Awards in 2009.

The film opens in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles this Friday. It follows an illegal immigrant named Lucky who sells brand name knock-offs in New York City. His life changes when a woman hands over to him a toddler she insists is his.

Reuters talked to Daniels about the film and his career.

Q: Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry are big names that moved mountains for "Precious." What can Lee Daniels do for "Prince of Broadway?"

A: "I learned from Oprah and Tyler that presenting helps. They rang the bell as loud as they could for me and people came to see my film. We're only opening in three cities with 'Prince of Broadway,' so I'll ring that bell as loud as I can from those three cities. I think people interested in the kind of work I do will be blown away by this filmmaker."

Q: What was it about filmmaker Sean Baker that made you want to attach your name to his movie?   Continued...