Sunday, July 1, 2012

My Award-Winning Documentary: Shouters and the Control Freak Empire

I have just learned that my film won the Best International Short Documentary at the 2011 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival (USA) and will be showcased at the 2012 Havana Film Festival this August:

‘This fascination led him (Tayo Ojoade) to co-direct Shouters and the 'Control Freak' Empire with Nigerian criminologist Professor Onwubiko Agozino. This short documentary which re-visits the 1917-1951 Prohibition Ordinance examines how Christianity, when infused with African cultural or religious practices, creates discords of power and class and so, he challenges laws that legislate against a belief system, questioning the effects of such laws for both the members of the faith and the general public. Shouters and the 'Control Freak' Empire questions power and social control through exposing the central conflict between Euro-centric and Afro-centric religions. It places these two elements side by side to give voice to the voiceless by exposing the schisms inherent in the unhappy marriage between the secular and the sacred.

'Shouters and the 'Control Freak' Empire has enjoyed local, regional and international audiences and has been highlighted on numerous occasions during the Shouter Baptist holiday. First screened at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival in 2010, it went on to win a prize at the 2011 Colombia Gorge International Film Festival (USA). Later that same year it was screened both at the Portobello Film Festival (London) and the Montreal International Black Film Festival (Canada). This year, 2012, it has been selected by the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company for the Caribbean Film Showcase to take place at Havana, Cuba in August.

'Shouters and the 'Control Freak' Empire remains Ojoade's most widely screened film. He attributes this success to his own Trini-gerian heritage, a fact which deeply informed his passion for this piece. Nigerian by birth, Ojoade's interest piqued in Trinidad when he noted how Afro-Christian spirituality sometimes becomes rooted with African cultural practices and the "Shouter" faith attracts his interest precisely because of this. Upon discovering how the Shouter faith was once ostracised when Prohibition laws were implemented, Ojoade's cultural conscience was piqued and he conceived a film which addresses these issues.’

To read more, follow the link: