Best Indie Filmmaker - 2007
There are no special effects in what the documentarian best known for Straight Outta Hunters Point does, yet his talent for digging deep and representing the under-represented is worth more to the community dialogue than any Computer Generated Imagery animation. As is Epps' presence at various local forums he's a reliable fixture at events from the streets of Bayview to the hoitier climes of the Commonwealth Club. His dedication to social justice ranges wide. This is reflected in works like The Black Rock (about the treatment of black prisoners in Alcatraz). It's also in recent short films Don't Kill Tookie, an impassioned plea shown on Current TV just hours before former Crip gang founder-turned Nobel Peace Prize nominee Stanley Williams' execution at San Quentin, and YouTube-circulated United States vs. Josh Wolf, on the last hours before Wolf surrendered to federal prison for refusing to turn over footage shot at 2005's San Francisco G8 protest. Epps isn't the filmmaker to watch for sheer filmic technique, but because of the depth of his heart.