Prudence Mabhena - Music by Prudence > Oscar winning documentary by Roger Ross Williams
Music by Prudence will be the opening film at Abära – the International Disability Film Festival in Dublin, on Thursday October 20th! And the best news of all: Prudence is traveling to Ireland to attend the festival!
Abära is Ireland’s first ever International Disability Film Festival. The aim of the festival is to celebrate progress made by people with disabilities while increasing awareness and understanding of the many challenges still faced by people with disabilities around the world.
During the gala opening night, Prudence will be interviewed by RTÉ’s Arts & Media Correspondent, Sinéad Crowley. Limited tickets are available.
And if you can’t make it to the opening night, no worries: preceding the screening on Friday evening, Prudence will be present again, interviewed by Rod Stoneman, Director of the Huston School of Film & Digital Media, NUI Galway.
The festival runs from Thursday October 20th until Sunday October 23rd.
For ticket information, click here.
To download the full festival program (PDF), click here.
And even more right here.
Prudence was appointed Unicef’s national Goodwill ambassador last Tuesday. She will be working closely with Unicef on advocacy to protect children from all forms of violence, particularly children with disabilities.
Unicef’s Dr Peter Salama said: “This appointment is in recognition of Prudence’s bold endeavors to use her vocal talent to speak on behalf of millions of Zimbabwean children.
“Her voice has provoked positive actions for children and has helped move Unicef’s work in Zimbabwe,” he said.
In a Press release, Unicef said Prudence has been given the befitting appointment in recognition of her genuine commitment to communicating strong and clear messages advocating for the rights of children with different forms of disability.
“In being appointed as a national goodwill ambassador, she joins local singer legend Oliver Mtukudzi, appointed three months ago as regional goodwill ambassador for Unicef, in using music to highlight issues affecting children in Zimbabwe and in the region,” reads the release.
“Her music reflects on the neglect she experienced by her parents because of her condition and encourages love and protection of all children regardless of their physical condition.
“In the Oscar-winning documentary film, ‘Music by Prudence’, Prudence relieves her many hardships in life to encourage and empower young people living with disabilities,” reads the press release.
Read more on Zimdiaspora.
So much has happened for Prudence, ever since Music by Prudence stole the hearts of so many people, and certainly after winning the Academy Award for best Documentary Short. After the media frenzy surrounding Kanye Gate whirled down, the focus was on Prudence, where it belonged. Soon after the Oscars, Prudence came back to the US for a whirlwind tour; Human Rights Watch teamed up, and with their generous help and support the film has become the cornerstone of an advocacy campaign, and Prudence a role model for many.
Prudence visited the White House, and overnight became a star in her home country, Zimbabwe, as well.
The most amazing thing that happened to Prudence, however, happened earlier this year. It had become harder for her to breath as a collapsing spine wore on her lungs, and she received spinal surgery in Denver, straightening her back!
Recently, the Denver Post portrayed Prudence and her amazing story, as she’s been in Denver for a number of months, rehabilitating from the major operation. Read her interview right here.
Last month, Prudence and the film were featured on Spotlight Radio. Spotlight Radio is a great source for people who want to learn English. It’s is a daily 15 minute radio program that uses a special English method of broadcasting. They use fewer words, slower speed, and shorter sentences.
People can listen to Spotlight Radio online, on public radio stations, and in school classes.
Listen to the Spotlight broadcast on Music by Prudence right here.
Music by Prudence has been nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Music and Sound! Congratulations to sound mixer Chris Bertolotti, music producer Ted Mason, and music engineer Joseph Colmenero, and of course to the musical geniuses of the band Liyana, and to their star singer, Prudence Mabhena.
The 32nd Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards Ceremony will be held at September 26, 2011.
Click here to see all the nominations.
Prudence Mabhena has had spine surgery in the United States to save her singing career!
In the past, Prudence could sing for one to two hours during a show without a break. But recently, she’s had to do shorter shows and take breaks in the middle and come back.
It became harder for her to breathe as a collapsing spine wore on her lungs. “I was getting tired. After doing anything, I was so tired,” Prudence, now 23, said from the Denver Children’s Hospital on Thursday.
On Jan. 24, she had a surgery there in which doctors put rods into her spine and were able to straighten it. And Mountainfilm, in large part, made that happen. Here’s how.
Black Book’s nightlife guru Steve Lewis talked with director Roger Ross Williams, about their wild days in the eighties, and about Music by Prudence, the Oscar upheaval, and future projects. Here are some highlights from the interview:
First off, we all know you as that guy who got shoved aside while accepting the Academy Award. Tell us about making the film, getting it out there, and the award. What was in your mind up there?
There is nothing that really describes the feeling of winning an Oscar, but I will try. When my name was called it was as though I had won a new car on The Price is Right. ‘Come on down!’ was all I could think as I raced to the stage. When I arrived on stage I felt the weight of the moment, the silence, the pressure, the incredible spotlight that was on me. I also felt grounded and ready to speak from my heart. My desire was to tell the world about this amazing girl and her band Liyana, and how I was so happy that everyone could finally know and love them like I had grown to know and love them. Most importantly, I was there to honor Prudence. She was in the audience that night, and I had worked hard to get her there from Zimbabwe, secure her a seat, and make sure the cameras were in position and ready to film her if we won. Of course, that speech didn’t happen. Read more…
Prudence and director Roger Ross Williams were interviewed by O, The Oprah Magazine:
Subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, singer Prudence Mabhena shows that “disability does not mean inability.”
Prudence Mabhena has a voice as sparkling as the bluest ocean, with a little sob of an undertow burbling beneath it. That voice pours out of Music by Prudence, a moving portrait of the 23-year-old Zimbabwe native, lead singer of the Afro-fusion band Liyana. Born with arthrogryposis, which causes severe deformation of the joints (doctors amputated her legs when she was a child), Mabhena weighs about 50 pounds and uses a 600-pound wheelchair. “When I see myself singing in the film,” Mabhena says, “I don’t know how I do it.” Read more…
Last month was an amazing month in the history of Music by Prudence. The film premiered on HBO, and was seen at film festivals all over the country: in Telluride, Colorado; Silver Spring, Maryland; Mendocino, California, and many other places. But what made last month extra special was Prudence Mabhena’s return to the US.
One of the most special moment was the opening night of the International VSA Festival, held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on June 6. VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all. Read more…
The Philadelphia Inquirer published a recent interview with director and producer Roger Ross Williams, on his film, Prudence, and on getting Kanyed:
As Roger Ross Williams says, laughing about it in hindsight, he holds two records in the annals of the Academy Awards. One – and this is the important one – is that he’s the first African American to win a directing Oscar, for his documentary short, “Music by Prudence.”
And two, he is the first Oscar winner to be Kanyed when he stepped up to accept his award.
Sure, there have been random Oscar-speech hijackings over the academy’s 82 years – but they were before the verb to Kanye entered the lexicon, inspired by Kanye West’s obnoxious interruption of Taylor Swift’s Video Music Awards acceptance spiel last fall. Read more…