Producer Elinor Burkett borrowed a move from Kanye West’s playbook at the 82nd Annual Academy Awards when she stormed the stage and interrupted her “Music by Prudence” collaborator Roger Ross Williams’ acceptance speech for the Best Documentary Short award.
Williams, the film’s director, began his speech by relating his complete and utter surprise at winning the award. “Oh my God, this is amazing,” he started. “Two years ago, when I got on an airplane to Zimbabwe, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would end up here. This is so exciting.”
He wasn’t the only one excited. Burkett, the film’s producer, unexpectedly joined Williams on the stage and immediately commandeered the microphone, taking a jab at how women are never allowed to speak over men. “Isn’t that just the classic thing,” she said.
Speaking about the message of “Music by Prudence,” Burkett said: “You know, in a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can’t, Liyana, the band behind the film, teaches us that we’re wrong. Against all odds, they did so we can. The bottom line is, to me, my role models and my heroes [are the members of Liyana].”
It’s not quite as memorable as West’s “I’mma let you finish” moment at the VMAs , but the sentiment was close enough.
“Music by Prudence” focuses on the life of Prudence Mabhena, a Zimbabwean singer who suffers from arthrogryposis, a debilitating condition that causes curved and misshapen joints and limbs. The film chronicles the unlikely musical success of Mabhena and her band Liyana. Mabhena herself was in the crowd during Burkett and Williams’ acceptance speech, laughing at the producer’s surprising arrival on the stage.
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