RACISM/BULLYING/SELF HATRED IS WHAT A 10 YEAR OLD BOY MUST FACE IN THE OSCAR NOMINATED – BLACK SHEEP
Directed by ED PERKINS, Produced by JONATHAN CHINN & SIMON CHINN
IN THEATERS NOW AND STREAMING ON THE GUARDIAN WEBSITE
**NOMINEE – 91st Academy Awards – Best Documentary Short**
**WINNER – Sheffield Doc Fest 2018 – Best Doc Short**
**WINNER – Aesthetica Film Festival 2018 – Best Doc 018 – Best European Short**
**WINNER – This is England Festival 2018 – Rouen – Grand Jury/Audience Award/Lycée Mention**
**WINNER – FRONTDOC International Film Festival 2018 – Aosta, Italy – Best Mid-Length Docu**
**NOMINEE – IDA 2018 – International Documentary Association – Best Short Film**
Everything changed for Cornelius Walker on November 27, 2000 when Damilola Taylor was killed in what became one of the UK’s most high-profile murder cases. Damilola was 11 – the same age as Cornelius. He lived five minutes away. He had the same skin color. Cornelius’ mother, scared for her son’s safety, moved their family out of London. Cornelius suddenly found himself living on a white estate run by a white gang.
Racism ruled. And Cornelius soon found himself the target of extreme verbal and physical racial abuse. But rather than fight back, Cornelius decided to become more like the people who hated him. He started to wear the same clothes they wore. He changed his accent. He straightened his hair and wore bright blue contact lenses. He even started to bleach his skin – Cornelius tried to become white.
The white gang became his family and kept him safe. And in return, Cornelius became submerged in a culture of violence and hatred. But as the violence and racism against other blacks continued, Cornelius struggled to marry his real identity with the one he had acquired. Filmed with non-actors in the same locations where the real events took place 15 years ago, BLACK SHEEP blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction to pose difficult and highly topical questions about race and identity. Who decides what makes us who we are? And what compromises are we prepared to make in order to fit in?
From the Academy Award® winning producer of MAN ON WIRE and SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, this is a story about fractured identity and the things we do to survive.
BLACK SHEEP is now streaming on the Guardian website here. This is the first time a Guardian-commissioned documentary has been nominated for an Oscar® nominated
BLACK SHEEP is also the only European film nominated in the Documentary Short Subject category this year.
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