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‘Precious’ bows at AFI

Winfrey, Daniels among fest's guests

The Writers Guild must love Lee Daniels. Before a SRO crowd Sunday at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the helmer of “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” said, “It all started with the word,” saluting Sapphire, who wrote the book, and Geoffrey Fletcher, who adapted it for the bigscreen.

“I did this movie for my mom,” Daniels said, because she asked him why he couldn’t make films like Tyler Perry. “So I did this movie for you, Mom, and I got Tyler Perry as an exec producer.”

Daniels said that when he read the book, “it split me open,” a sentiment repeated by exec producers Perry and Oprah Winfrey.

“You will appreciate this experience,” Winfrey told the aud. “I don’t know if ‘enjoying’ is the right word.”

Among those attending the AFI Fest preem of the Lionsgate pic, which had an after-party at Chateau Marmont, were its stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Gabourey Sidibe. producers Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Lisa Cortés and Tom Heller; plus guests Macy Gray, Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx and Will Smith.

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