From indie sensation ("Fruitvale Station") to mainstream moneymaker ("Creed") and soon-to-be blockbuster visionary (Marvel's "Black Panther"), Ryan Coogler is about to have yet another prestigious honor under his belt, as Warner Brothers has named him their first Creative Talent Ambassador in the U.K., which recently kicked off its third season with a new round of program participants.
The Warner Bros. Creative Talent program is similar to the Sundance Labs and other fellowships that provide participants with an opportunity to hone their craft while working with mentors and some of the best resources in the business. Participants receive funding and training opportunities, as well as scholarships to some of the U.K.'s best colleges, apprenticeships at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and Warner Bros. Television Production U.K. and more. Coogler himself got his start at the Sundance Labs, where he perfected the script on his award-winning "Fruitvale Station."
"Having experienced firsthand the support and impact of programs similar to Warner Bros. Creative Talent, it is fantastic to know that passionate young people of all backgrounds are being given the chance to follow their dreams here in the U.K.," Coogler said in a official statement. "This can be a tough industry and so we need to do what we can to bring talented young people into it."
"I am thrilled that Ryan has become an Ambassador for Warner Bros. Creative Talent, as he is the perfect example of the effect that a program like this can have on one’s life and career," added Josh Berger, Warner Bros. U.K. president in Ireland and Spain. "We’re already seeing our talented young people taking strides into the industry, just a couple of years into the program, and I can’t wait to see what season three will go on to achieve."
Coogler is gearing up to direct the superhero film "Blank Panther." His reinvention of the Rocky franchise, "Creed," has grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office and is now playing theaters everywhere.