INDEPENDENT NEWS

Feature Movie Planned On Precious McKenzie

Published: Wed 1 Sep 2004 11:39 AM
Feature Movie Planned On Precious McKenzie
New Zealand sports personality Precious McKenzie, MBE, flies to his former homeland of South Africa on Monday to help promote a feature movie based on his life.
The former weightlifting champion will be meeting with financial backers who have invested development funding into the project, and with potential investors to get the project to the big screen. He’ll be in South Africa for two weeks.
The movie project is now in development with Precious UK Ltd., a London-based company formed by film production company Create Media Partners, and South African film company Unital Films International. Unital already has a number of feature films to its credit.
Precious, now 68, said today from his Auckland home he’s very excited about the movie project.
“It’s wonderful to know that overseas film producers think enough of my life story to try to make a movie on it,” he says. “When I was a little barefoot urchin running around the streets of Pietermartizburg, I never dreamed I’d ever make the big screen.”
While in South Africa, Precious hopes to meet Nelson Mandela. He says he can vividly remember the live radio report on Mandela’s imprisonment in the early days of apartheid.
Precious says he realises there’s still a long way to go to raise the US$10 million production budget required to get the project to the screen, but he says the producers are very positive after discussing the project with investors at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
The screenplay, simply entitled Precious, was written by New Zealand father-and-son screenwriting team Lance and James Morcan. Tauranga-based Lance Morcan says he’s delighted the project is progressing so well.
“Of all our screenplays, this is the one we want to see fly because Precious’ inspirational story deserves to be told,” he says. “Although he’s a sporting icon in New Zealand, most Kiwis don’t know his life story which is one of hardship, poverty and drama.”
Morcan says he and his co-writer wanted to show the spirit of Precious more than his sporting achievements.
“We feel we’ve achieved this. Precious’ story tells of one man’s triumph over adversity. It will move people just as Ghandi’s story did.”
Precious is a four-times Commonwealth Games gold medallist, former world powerlifting champion and a member of the International Powerlifting Hall of Fame. He still competes in veterans’ lifting events and holds several Masters world powerlifting titles.
When he’s not training or competing, Precious is delivering back-care seminars to companies around the world in his capacity as back injury prevention consultant. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Howick, Auckland.

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