“Fruitvale” is a drama based on the real-life story of a young man balck man named Oscar Grant, who was shot to death at an Oakland BART station. The movie also won the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film.
Perhaps just as interesting is the fact that the film is the first feature-length production from USC School of Cinematic Arts graduate Ryan Coogler, 26.”Fruitvale” was produced by actor Forest Whitaker and stars Michael B. Jordan.
Entertainment Weekly writes that because of this film, Coogler’s life has changed. He’s a young man in demand by Hollywood.
There was the standing ovation at the MARC Theater in Park City. There were the hugs and tears from Grant’s family members who attended the premiere. And then there was the avalanche of business cards from industry titans and wannabes who see Coogler as Sundance’s latest wunderkind, this year’s Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”).
Coogler was the same age as Grant and living in the Bay Area when the 22-year-old was shot in the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland, and he remembers the community outrage, especially since shocked New Year’s Eve revelers recorded the shooting with their cellphones and quickly uploaded it to the Internet. When Whitaker took an interest in Coogler’s fledgling film career and asked for ideas, the young auteur quickly pitched Grant’s story. The Oscar winner signed-off on the spot, and before long, Coogler was presiding over a hometown production starring Michael B. Jordon (“Friday Night Lights”) as Oscar and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as his worried mother.
Speaking of Octavia Spencer, after the win, she tweeted: “crying like a baby now. so proud of team #FRUITVALE for winning audience and grand jury prize.”
Read/learn more about “Fruitvale” at Entertainment Weekly.