Tribecaâ€™s Hot U.K. Film
The story is told through the eyes of Joe Pascale (Oyelowo), a Black man on a mission. Joe believes he has discovered the solutions that could save his people. He quits his high paying, high tech job and embarks on a career as â€˜Education Enforcerâ€™ in an inner city high school. The only problem is that the very kids he has come to save hate him. One of them, Germal, accuses him of assault
Shoot The Messenger is a controversial new film directed by award winning film-maker Ngozi Onwurah, and written by screen writer Sharon Foster, recipient of the 2004 Dennis Potter Screenwriterâ€™s Award. Together, Onwurah and Foster dare to tackle the sacred cow of Black accountability for some of the problems that beset and impede the Black British communityâ€™s progress.
The story is told through the eyes of Joe Pascale (Oyelowo), a Black man on a mission. Joe believes he has discovered the solutions that could save his people. He quits his high paying, high tech job and embarks on a career as â€˜Education Enforcerâ€™ in an inner city high school. The only problem is that the very kids he has come to save hate him. One of them, Germal, accuses him of assault. The situation rapidly escalates out of control. The police are called, the case goes to trial and the media run with the story.
The black community believe Germalâ€™s version of events. Joe is branded a race traitor and a vitriolic campaign is mounted against him. Unable to deal with the situation he finds himself in, Joe rapidly descends into his own bizarre world of madness, hatred and biblical curses.
Well known within the international independent cinema circle for her fiercely innovative and edgy film work, filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah manages that rare feat of successfully traversing the independent film sector and mainstream television. In the UK, Onwurah is known for her directorial work on the top British TV drama series Heartbeat. Within the world of independent Black cinema, Onwurah received critical acclaim for her prize winning feature, Welcome II the Terrordome, which she both wrote and directed.
Screen Writer Sharon Foster is a recipient of the UKâ€™s highly prestigious Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award (2004), which recognizes artistsâ€™ singular talent and personal vision. As a dramatic writer, Foster has an impressive body of work behind her, which led to the BBC commissioning her script, Shoot the Messenger as part of its mission and commitment to showcase the work of talented new artists.
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