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Tyler Dean Flores and Jessica Kavana Dornbusch Address Timely Police Brutality Film with REEFA [Exclusive Interview]

Tyler Dean Flores - REEFA

News of police brutality never seems to end. This week alone, Minnesota police officer Kim Potter allegedly fired her gun instead of a Taser to take the young life of Daunte Wright during a traffic stop.

It nearly mirrors a heartbreaking story of Israel “Reefa” Hernandez Jr., an aspiring artist, who was Tasered to death by a police officer in Miami that sparked a police brutality debate back in August 2013. These incidents never seem to end.

In the drama REEFA, the film is based on the true story of Reefa, an 18-year-old Columbian immigrant and art prodigy, who is spending his last summer in Miami with friends, family, and his new girlfriend Frankie before moving to New York City on an art scholarship. While Israel and his friends skateboard the city streets and spray-paint the walls of Wynwood, Miami’s graffiti Mecca, anxieties emerge twofold: Israel and his family nervously await their Green Cards while he desperately seeks recognition for his art. When Israel decides to spray paint one last wall, a piece which would command immediate respect from his peers, a sudden encounter with a vengeful Miami police officer leaves his family and friends devastated, the Miami community outraged, and the country reeling from another case of police brutality.


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The film stars Tyler Dean Flores, George Sear, Clara McGregor, Cinthya Carmona, and Ricardo Chavira. Jessica Kavana Dornbusch directed and wrote the movie.

LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with actor Tyler Dean Flores and director Jessica Kavana Dornbusch on the timeliness of the film to current events, police brutality, and working with the family to bring Reefa’s story to life.

Jessica Kavana Dornbusch’s first film was with Love and Debate, originally written for Project Greenlight and based on her experiences as a high school and college award-winning debater. Reefa serves as her sophomore feature film.

Tyler Dean Flores is a rising actor, who made numerous appearances in television, including Chicago Fire, Blindspot, and Blue Bloods. Currently, he can be seen in the hit series from Disney+ as Diego in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

REEFA is available On Demand tomorrow.

Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, Vertical Entertainment

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