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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Music by Prudence Oscar Winner

Music by Prudence is about a group of physically challenged young persons who were housed at the King George V1 School and Centre for Children with Physical Disabilities (KG6) in Zimbabwe. The documentary traces the path of a young Zimbabwean singer songwriter, Prudence Mabhena (in a wheelchair with twisted arms and without legs,) and her remarkable transcendence from a world of hatred and superstition into one of music, love, and possibility.

Cinematographer Errol Webber Jr. and Prudence Mabhena

Prudence and some fellow musicians started an Afro-fusion band called Liyana (“it’s raining” in Ndebele) which became her family. All eight members are disabled. Her new family understands her journey. They rehearse together, joke and laugh, and collaborate to write new songs with prospects of a bright future. Learn more about Prudence & Liyana...

Errol Webber, Cinematographer

Errol Webber Jr., the first son and second child of Errol & Donna Webber was born in Kingston, Jamaica and received his early education at the Greater Grace Temple Basic School, St. Theresa's Preparatory School and Wolmer's Boys School.

He migrated with his family to the United States of America in the summer of 2002. On arrival in the United State he attended Milford Mill Academy and later Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

Errol's early start with the camera began when Carolyn Stewart gave him a video camera to record the service at an annual convocation of the Pentecostal Gospel Temple. Errol's childhood dream was to become a commercial airline pilot. But once he picked up his first video camera, he however, knew that he needed to spend his life behind the lens. His love for the camera lead him to register with the video ministry at the Greater Bethlehem Temple.

But it was at The Church of the Redeemed of the Lord that he received an opportunity to really develop and make a meaningful contribution to the video ministry there, much to the delight of Bishop Jerome Stokes who recognizes his talent and gifting as he records the Lamp of Victory broadcasts.

While attending college at MICA, and despite his young age, Errol had already worked as a commercial cinematographer and photographer for five years, shooting everything from weddings, concerts and promotional events to TV broadcasts and commissioned art videos for museums.
Errol's professor, Patrick Wright from Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA), who recognized his talent, "amazing eye and good (cinematic) instincts" offered him the opportunity to  work on the documentary. Errol accepted the offer and in less than two weeks after graduating from college, he flew to Zimbabwe to begin shooting 'Music by Prudence.'

When asked about his experience with the band members, Errol said, "what I like about them is, they are outgoing and don't want pity. They try to live each day as independently as possible not expecting anything from anyone; and after filming them for several months I'm amazed at their abilities and what they can do." 

At the age of 21 years, Errol Jr. being the principal cameraman spent twelve (12) hours each day with the subjects, and shot two thirds (2/3) of the material utilized in the production of this Winning Short Documentary. This makes him the youngest cinematographer ever to shoot an Oscar Nominated Film that ultimately won an Oscar, seen in this picture with Producer Elinor Burkett.
Errol Webber Jr. and Elinor Burkett

The documentary won the award for 'Best Documentary Short Subject' at the 2010 Academy Awards, which was held at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood. Errol and Patrick were interviewed on Maryland Morning, 88.1 FM radio station on March 5, 2010 prior to the award ceremony.

The following video is an interview with the Oscar Winners, Director Roger Ross Williams and Producer Elinor Burkett, giving 'Thank You' expressions after the ceremony.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was founded in 1927 by influential figures in the motion picture industry. These included Louis B. Mayer, Mary Pickford, Cecile B. DeMille and Douglas Fairbanks. The Academy is dedicated to “the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures.” View the Making of an Oscar and see the full list of winners of the 2010 Academy awards at

ALL GLORY To GOD Errol Jr., for this great achievement! You have always been very helpful, from a young age…giving of your time, self and money (to the homeless) unselfishly…and the LORD, who nothing misses His glance, has chosen at this time to download this blessing upon you. Errol, we just want you to know that your family is very proud of who you are, what you have accomplished, and where you are going. Rejoice in your accomplishments, Celebrate your blessing and Glorify your Creator!

God is surely smiling on you today as you celebrate this achievement! Wishing you a future filled with blessings, fulfillment, and all the happiness you deserve. We will continue to pray that you will walk fully in the destiny God has ordained. FAVOUR Son! Again congratulation and remember "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). We love you son and wish for you God's blessings.
- Parents: Errol & Donna Webber

Congratulations EJ! What an accomplishment at the beginning of your career. This is just an indication of the great things to come. You have proven to us that with God as your source, a person can make it with nothing more than Brains, Personality, Talent, and Dedication. May God continue to provide great opportunities to you because you are ready to take them on! Errol Jr., you deserve this honor.
From your sister & brother,
- Gail & Lorenzo

As a former teacher of Mr. Webber, it would be unusual if he didn’t receive this kind of fame so early. He was always enthusiastic about life and cameras – the attraction had to come back to him. His energy and overall love for humanity proved that it comes back to you. I would say to Mr. Webber that from this day, the sky’s the limit and to keep up the momentum to live, love and be happy – stay the course, serve and be fruitful in all you do. Very proud that you have crossed my path.
- Dora Williams-Ransom

Congratulations to the Webber’s family. I have known this family even before they became family. We were and still remain very good friends. I am so very proud of the three children of the Webbers, who are excelling in their own way. I am extremely proud of Errol Jr. being the recipient of this great historic achievement. 
- Minister Beldene Williams, Pentecostal Gospel Temple 

Cast & crew
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Producer: Elinor Burkett
Co-producer and associate editor: Patrick Wright
Cinematography: Derek Wiesehahn, Errol Webber & Osato Dixon
Film editing: Geeta Gandbhir
Music producer: Ted Mason

For HBO:
Supervising producer: Sara Bernstein
Executive producer: Sheila Nevins

Prudence Mabhena, Marvelous Mbulo, Tapiwa Nyengera, Farai Mabhande, Energy Maburutse, Honest Mupatse, Vusani Vuma, & Goodwell Nzou.

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