Music by Prudence |

March 8, 2010 by Post Team 

Music by PrudenceMusic by Prudence |, a 1981 Easton Area High School graduate and former Palmer Township resident, was director of the short documentary that was recognized tonight with an Academy Award.

Williams raced to the stage after “Music by Prudence” was announced as the Oscar winner.

“Two years ago when I got on an airplane and went to Zimbabwe, I never imagined I’d end up here,” Williams said from the stage.

In the audience, Prudence Mabhena beamed from her wheelchair.

Twenty minutes after claiming the statuette, Williams was still seemingly in shock.

“Did I look like I was in complete shock up there?” he said in a brief telephone interview from backstage, where he accepted congratulations from stars.

“It’s amazing. It feels great. It feels wonderful. It feels like an incredible milestone in my career and my life.”

The film was nominated for an Academy Award in the documentary short category.

Music by Prudence” documents Mabhena’s life. She’s a 21-year-old from Zimbabwe who has arthrogryposis, a congenital disorder that crippled her arms and legs. She is a musician who leads a marimba band.

This is the first Academy Award for Williams, a filmmaker who now lives in New York and is a 1983 graduate of Northampton Community College.

During Williams’ acceptance speech, he was interrupted by Elinor Burkett, who also was involved in making the film.

In the Allentown area, Williams’ sister, Katherine Sallard, watched the awards show on television and couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Oh my God, I can’t believe he won,” Sallard said from her apartment in Whitehall Township.

She said she screamed when the film was announced as the winner. She was delighted by the news, but disappointed Burkett cut into her brother’s comments.

“He’s a real gentle guy,” she said. “That’s why Miss Pain-in-the-Butt could interrupt like that. He’s not that kind of guy. He’s a smiley, ‘OK, let’s-make-it-work’ kind of guy.”

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