Festival de Cine Global Dominicano
Conversation with Ephraim Walker…

Fruitvale Station, a based on a true story of police brutality, racial profiling and the murder of a young man by the transit police on a local train in Oakland California.

Conversation with Ephraim Walker…

(Santo Domingo Nov 16, 2013) – Ephram Walker, producer of Fruitvale Station, told the website of the Dominican Global Film Festival (FCGD) that the team and crew of this poignant and powerful California-based film worked together practically free of charge because they saw the importance of the project.  And this includes Oscar-winning Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Forest Whitaker, Executive Producer. The film was directed by Ryan Coogler.

Fruitvale Station, a based on a true story of police brutality, racial profiling and the murder of a young man by the transit police on a local train in Oakland California.

Ephraim Walker is also an attorney working with renowned American civil rights attorney John Burris. “I studied law at University of Southern California with a minor in film and now I am doing both,” he said.

The incident in California took place on New Year’s Eve 2008 when two rapid transit officers pulled Oscar Grant, 22 years old, and several of his friends off the train after reports of a scuffle. The police officers hurled racial slurs and were unnecessarily violent with the young men who were not resisting arrest. As the situation escalated, one officer pulled out his gun and shot the handcuffed Oscar Grant. However, the train and platform were full of people with digital video and cell phone cameras filming the entire scene.

“This is the first time that we have a shooting by police on film…and this of a young man whose hands are cuffed behind his back,” said Ephraim who is in the Dominican Republic for the 7th Dominican Global Film Festival.  

Attorney John Burris was called to represent the family in a civil case and that is where Ephraim came in as he and director Ryan Coogler are best friends.

The officer who shot Oscar was sentenced to two years in prison, claiming he mistook his Taser for his gun. He ended up only serving 11 months. His release caused protests in Oakland and around the state of California.

Fruitvale Station won both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Ephraim Walker, who has been producing film since 2009, said he was intending to make more films on similar subjects.  “This information needs to get out to a broad audience.”

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