ESSENCE has learned that Coogler will return to ABFF to headline the festival’s “ABFF Talk Series,” where he will discuss his journey to success and the path he created to become one of Hollywood’s biggest talents during “A Conversation with Ryan Coogler.”
The A-list director will also touch on the role the festival played at the beginning of his career.
Jeff Friday, ABFF Ventures Founder & CEO, said in a statement, “Ryan is a tremendous talent, but more importantly a humble and thoughtful human being. It is because of people like him that the ABFF continues its mission of supporting inclusion in film and television.”
Coogler directed the Marvel hit Black Panther, which shattered box office records.
In a heartfelt letter penned to fans, the director wrote, “Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film—But to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters—often moved me and my wife to tears.”
“Thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift: The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you.”
Friday’s statement added, “What he’s accomplished after just three feature films is unprecedented and proves that it is in Hollywood’s own best interest that it continues to focus on diversity.”
The annual festival will take place in Miami from June 13-17.