Carlos Lopez Estrada, director of the newly released film “Blindspotting,” brought forward the reality of a gentrified Oakland.
Alongside Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal the group worked to bring together a diverse cast and crew.
“We tried to bring as many people as we could that we had a history with to make sure this did in fact feel like a real community,” Estrada said.
The trio met years ago on set for a music video and continued working together in several creative ventures.
Estrada said their history is what led Diggs and Casal to offer him the position as the director.
Blindspotting had been in the works between the two for 8-9 years according to Estrada. One if his main concerns with the offer was his ability to bring forward a hyper-specified experience of growing up in Oakland.
Born in Mexico and raised in Florida, Estrada’s experience differed from those of the actors/writers. However, Diggs and Casal assured the young director he was the right choice for the movie.
“It was important to bring someone they trusted and had an existing relationship with and to bring someone who could translate their ideas into images and to make sure someone could capture this magic that they see in their city,” said Estrada.
On July 20 the movie began limited release through major cities in the United States.
Moviegoers will get to see the story of Collins, played by Diggs, as he tries to make it through his final three days of probation.
After witnessing a police shooting with his best friend, their friendship is tested as they grapple with identity and realities brought forward by their gentrified neighborhood of Oakland.
Estrada said the characters, events and locations were all inspired by the experiences of Diggs and Casal.
“We really got to experience the process of gentrification through the eyes of Daveed and Rafa,” Estrada said. ” We got to see them shaken by the fact that the Oakland they knew looked nothing like the Oakland they remember.”
For the full interview with Estrada click below.