WALKER is a verité portrait of Walker Estes—a deaf advocate and father from Baton Rouge, Louisiana —who is driven by his family’s experiences of incarceration and deafness to help others in his community affected by the prison system. WALKER is an intimate exploration into parenthood, activism, and personal healing.
About the Filmmakers
Documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Amy Bench is drawn to the immediacy of film and photography for telling stories of resilience and community. Her work explores immigration/migration narratives, communication access for the Deaf, reproductive justice, and LBGTQ+ rights, and involves both animation and live action as a way to connect emotionally with audiences. Her short film "More Than I Want to Remember" (2022) won an NAACP Image Award, a Social Impact Media (SIMA) Award, and was shortlisted for an Oscar in 2023. "More Than I Want to Remember" won Best Animated Short at the Tribeca Film Festival, Best International Short Documentary at Hot Docs, and is distributed by MTV Documentary Films on Paramount+. Her most recent short film, “Breaking Silence,” (2023) won both the Jury Award and the Audience Award in its category at SXSW. As a cinematographer, Amy collaborates closely with directors, often working in the cinema verite tradition. She was the cinematographer on the Emmy award-winning short “Trans in America: Texas Strong” (2019) about young trans activist Kai Shappley and her formerly conservative mother, Kimberly. “Texas Strong” grew into the feature “Mama Bears,” which will make its broadcast premiere on PBS’s “Independent Lens” in June 2023. She is a cinematographer on upcoming features and series from Julie Cohen (RBG, Julia), Kim Snyder (Newtown, Us Kids), Josephine Decker (Shirley), and Louie Psihoyos (The Cove).
Monique Walton is a creative producer of director-driven fiction and nonfiction independent films. Her fiction feature debut, BULL, directed by Annie Silverstein, was an official selection at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard. BULL was awarded the Grand Jury prize, the Revelation prize for best first film, and the Critics’ prize at the 2019 Deauville film festival. She has produced numerous short films, including Silverstein’s SKUNK, which won the jury award in the 2014 Cannes Film Festival- Cinéfondation. Monique was a consulting producer on the documentary PAHOKEE directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently producing a feature documentary, HOLLOW TREE, directed by Kira Akerman, which has received support from the Sundance Kendeda Fund and the International Documentary Association. She was selected for the 2016 Sundance Creative Producing Lab and was named the Mark Silverman Honoree for BULL.
Mei Kennedy has experienced navigating the justice system firsthand while supporting her Deaf father, who was incarcerated for seven and half years in a United States federal prison. She is a 3rd-generation Deaf parent and an advocate of a hearing son with autism. With a doctorate degree in Instructional Design for Online Learning. Dr. Kennedy provides strategic consulting services on integrating technology to improve the learning experience for Deaf students. Dr. Kennedy serves on the board of Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc (TDI) and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD).