The Power of Words

Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen, Gregory Stern

Times Square Advertising Coalition, Tribeca Film Institute, The Nelson Mandela Foundation

The Power of Words, a short film compilation of Nelson Mandela’s words, payed tribute to the peaceful vision of the South African leader on the occasion of his upcoming 95th birthday, and was created especially for Times Square's screens. Throughout April 2013, the film aired daily, also coinciding with National Poetry Month.

The words of Nelson Mandela – made up of text edited from numerous speeches – collided, floated, poured and burst onto the screens through a dramatic, cosmic blue background in a collaborative work created by Nabil Elderkin, Andrew van der Westhuyzen and Gregory Stern.

The Power of Words project, sponsored by Montblanc, was created in response to a challenge by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Tribeca Film Institute to inspire filmmakers to create short films that showcase the enduring impact of words and the resonance of Mandela’s message through multiple eras and generations. This public video piece was created by Nabil Elderkin, one of the directors, in collaboration with animator Andrew Van Der Westhuyzen, to help bring greater public awareness to the initiative.

Each year, four filmmakers are chosen to work with Tribeca Film Institute and Out of Africa Entertainment to create original short films based on quotes from Mandela’s teachings that are then released throughout the year. The 2014 films will premiere in Capetown, South Africa in November.