Belfast Telegraph

Backing essential for Grant film

Fruitvale Station filmmaker Ryan Coogler has revealed he would not have made the film without the support of Oscar Grant's family.

The drama, which stars Michael B Jordan as Oscar, tells the story of the shooting victim, who was killed by a police officer at the Fruitvale Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Station in Oakland, California in 2009.

" I wouldn't have made it without their support. I wasn't interested in making a movie that wasn't supported by them. That would have been wrong," said the director.

Ryan, who worked closely with the Grant family after meeting their lawyer John Burris, added: "They've been kind. I'm still close to them and talk to them."

The film, Ryan's debut full-length movie, won a number of awards and propelled Michael to stardom. The filmmaker also received the Prix de l'Avenir d'Un Certain Regard at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

"That's something you don't get tired of. That never gets old. It's always a wonderful feeling to achieve anything," Ryan said.

"I go to work every day but I never get awards, just rejection letters. I know I'll be on the other side again so it's about keeping that perspective."

Ryan never thought that Octavia Spencer would agree to star in the film as Oscar's mother Wanda, with Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker as a producer.

"I didn't think we would get her at the time. She had just won the Oscar for The Help. Working with her is like a dream come true. She came on board as an executive producer so she helped get some money together for us and get the cast," he added.

:: Fruitvale Station is in cinemas now.

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