A Moderated Conversation with Ryan Coogler
RYAN COOGLER is behind history and headline-making films like The Black Panther, which shattered box office records and become the highest-grossing film of all time by a Black director, as well as Fruitvale Station and Creed, Coogler is celebrated as one of Time’s "30 People Under 30 Changing the World" and he has earned Variety’s Creative Impact Award. In conversation about creativity, innovation and the power of storytelling, audiences come away with a sense of why Coogler is one of the standout filmmakers of a generation.
Singular storyteller Ryan Coogler is behind some of the biggest films of the decade, and shares his creative insights in motivational events
When he gave the prestigious David Lean Lecture at BAFTA 2022, RYAN COOGLER used his keynote to offer poignant reflections on authenticity, identity, and his journey as a filmmaker. Widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation, Coogler is revered for Fruitvale Station, Creed, and The Black Panther and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He has disrupted genre through his films and created culture in a way that has a ripple effect throughout Hollywood and beyond. These lessons in innovation resonate across industries and make a lasting impact with audiences of all kinds.
At the Sundance Opening Night festivities, Coogler was honored with the inaugural Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award. He shared in his acceptance speech that the ideas of self-determination, community building, and creating something that lasts have inspired his journey as a filmmaker and his company, Proximity Media. As the scale of his films has grown, Coogler has maintained his collaborative approach to creating a unified vision for each project. He shares his insights and takeaways in actionable and uplifting keynotes and conversations with groups including Salesforce, Google, the California African American Museum, and more.
Ryan Coogler receives rave reviews for his speaking engagements
"Ryan Coogler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation" - Bob Iger, Disney
After SalesForce hosted RYAN COOGLER at an event, they shared this feedback: “We would love to express our sincere thanks to Ryan for his participation in the closing keynote for Salesforce’s 2nd Annual Representation Matters: Racial Equality Summit. Ryan was a firm favorite both with the team and the audience, we loved that he's a genuine ally to these groups (and also to female talent) on and off screen.”
Coogler is behind history and headline-making films like The Black Panther, which shattered box office records and become the highest-grossing film of all time by a Black director, as well as Fruitvale Station and Creed. Coogler is celebrated as one of Time’s "30 People Under 30 Changing the World" and he has earned Variety’s Creative Impact Award.
Ryan Coogler offers eye and mind-opening insights on the power of storytelling, equality, and innovative approaches to changing the world
RYAN COOGLER is best-known for directing the blockbuster films Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther, the last of which shattered box office records and became the highest-grossing film of all time by a black director. Coogler was named to TIME's "30 People Under 30 Who Are Changing the Word" for his critical and commercial success celebrating overlooked cultures, characters, and communities on the silver screen. As a speaker at virtual and in-person events, Coogler offers eye-opening and mind-widening insights on the power of storytelling, equality, and innovative approaches to changing the world.
Groups rave, “We would love to express our sincere thanks to Ryan for his participation in the closing keynote for Salesforce’s 2nd Annual Representation Matters: Racial Equality Summit. Ryan was a firm favorite both with the team and the audience, we loved that he's a genuine ally to these groups (and also to female talent) on and off screen.” (Salesforce) Whether he’s speaking to colleges and universities, corporations, or trade groups, Coogler’s talks are both inspiring and insightful. He shares stories about the craft of groundbreaking storytelling and film making, and reminds audiences that nothing happens without a bold vision and committed action.
Ryan Coogler was born in Oakland, CA. He was an avid student-athlete and earned a football scholarship to St. Mary's College and later transferred to California State University, Sacramento, where he graduated with a degree in Finance.
Having always harbored a talent for storytelling, Ryan discovered his own passion for filmmaking as a college freshman, and began shooting shorts with his teammates and friends. After being admitted into the USC School of Cinematic Arts, he went on to create his award winning shorts Locks, Fig and Gap. Locks was shown at Tribeca Film Festival and was winner of Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence, Gap received the Jack Nicholson Award for Achievement in Directing, and Fig won the HBO Short Filmmaking Award, DGA Student Filmmaker Award, and was nominated for the Black Reel Award for outstanding independent short film.
After receiving his M.F.A., he began to work as a juvenile hall counselor before creating his first feature film Fruitvale Station, which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to win both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize for dramatic film and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film, two of the festival’s top honors. Following its success at Sundance, Fruitvale Station competed at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival and won the Cannes Prix L'avenir Award in Un Certain Regard. The film was produced by actor Forest Whitaker, stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer.
Later, Ryan went on to write and direct Creed for MGM starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Ryan’s latest film, Black Panther won three Oscars and was nominated for 6 Oscars including Best Picture.
In early 2021, Disney shared that Coogler is creating a series for Disney+, set in the world of Wakanda.
Coogler still resides in the Bay Area with his wife Zinzi Evans.