Sure, Melonie Diaz is a certified indie film star… But her latest project could put her on the Oscar track.
The Weinstein Co. has released the trailer for the 29-year-old Puerto Rican actress’ latest film Fruitvale Station.
Starring Michael B. Jordan, the film tells the story of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old San Francisco Bay Area man whose fatal 2009 shooting by Oakland BART police sparked outrage and protests against police brutality.
Diaz stars as Sophina, Grant’s girlfriend and the mother of his daughter.
The Weinstein Co. bought the film, the directorial debut by Ryan Coogler, at the Sundance Film Festival for $2 million even before it won the fest’s U.S. Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.
Melonie Diaz’s latest film is getting a name change…
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actress’ latest project, Fruitvale, which won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is getting an extra word in its title.
The Weinstein Company, which picked up the film about the 2009 fatal shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on San Francisco’s BART by security guards for more than $2 million, changed the name of the film to Fruitvale Station
The Ryan Coogler-directed drama will still be released on July 26 as part of the company’s Oscar-season arsenal for its story about the final day of Grant’s life (as portrayed by Michael B. Jordan), a young man who has been in trouble with the law but is decent at heart and tries to straighten out his life to care for his girlfriend and young daughter.
The shooting galvanized protests against police brutality in Oakland.
Melonie Diaz has become part of Sundance Film Festival history…
The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actress’ latest project, Fruitvale, has become the first Sundance film to win the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic film since Precious in 2009.
First-time director Ryan Coogler was inspired to write the film after 22-year-old Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by Oakland transit police on New Year’s Day morning 2009. Fruitvale tells the story of Grant’s last 24 hours alive, as he attempts to become a better father, a better boyfriend and a better son and friend.
“It’s about human beings and how we treat each other,” said Coogler, “how we treat people that we love and how we treat people that we don’t know.”
Diaz portrays Sophina in the film, which sparked a bidding war after its premiere. Rights for the film were ultimately acquired by The Weinstein Company for approximately $2 million.
Meanwhile, Sebastián Silva’s earned the Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic for helming the Chilean film Crystal Fairy, which centers on two people who clash during aroad trip to Chile.
Who is Dayani Cristal?, a film produced by Gael García Bernal and Marc Silver, won the Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary. The film, directed by Silver and featuring García in some dramatic reenactments, centers on an anonymous body found in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of a real-life human drama. The search for its identity leads the audience across a continent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of a mysterious tattoo.
Tristan Wilds and Melonie Diaz will be working with an Oscar-winning actress in the near future.
The 22-year-old part-Dominican American actor and 27-year-old Puerto Rican American actress have joined the cast of Fruitvale, an indie drama about a true-life police shooting being produced by Forest Whitaker.
Ryan Coogler will make his feature debut writing and directing the film, which comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the February 26 death of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager shot and killed by a local neighborhood watch officer in Florida.
Chronicle’s Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer, who won Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Oscars for her role inThe Help,are already on board for Fruitvale, which tells the story of Oscar Grant, a young black man detained on New Year’s Day 2009 by the Bay Area Rapid Transit police and shot in the back and killed. The event was captured by many cell phone cameras, with the ensuing trial and its verdict causing protests and riots.
Wilds will play Grant’s best friend while Diaz will appear as the mother of his young child.
Wilds previously worked with Jordan on the George Lucas-produced World War II aerial war movie Red Tails. He’s also one of the stars of the CW’s 90210.
Diaz has guest-starred on several TV shows, including Person of InterestandCSI: Miami. She’s also appeared in the films Nothing Like the Holidays and Hamlet 2.