Ryan Coogler to headline ABFF Celebrity Talk Series

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(Last Updated On: May 25, 2018)


Hot off the heels of directing the box-office phenomenon Black Panther, filmmaker Ryan Coogler returns to the 22nd Annual American Black Film Festival (ABFF), taking place in Miami, Florida from June 13-17, to headline the Celebrity Talk Series, on Saturday, June 16.

Born from ABFF founder Jeff Friday’s conviction that Black artists deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts, the talent pipeline programs act as a valuable conduit between Hollywood and emerging talent to showcase their content. These unique programs are partnered with major entertainment media companies such as HBO, Comcast NBCUniversal, Turner, TV One and more.

In 2011, Ryan was a beneficiary of one of these programs and won the HBO Short Film Award for his directorial skill in FIG, along with a $20,000 cash prize.  Ryan used a portion of his winnings to finance his first feature film, Fruitvale Station.

Following rave reviews from his debut feature film, in 2015 Coogler released mega-hit Creed, a spin-off of the Rocky films, starring actor Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone. Ryan is signed on to executive produce Creed 2 and has tapped ABFF alum Steven Caple, Jr. to direct.

While filming Creed, Ryan received the call to direct Black Panther and has delivered Marvel and Disney the most revered Hollywood achievement of the 21st century to date, a black superhero story with an almost all-black cast. Black Panther has recently surpassed Titanic on the all-time list of highest grossing films to become the third-biggest grosser in unadjusted earnings.

“Ryan’s World: From FIG to Black Panther” will be a moderated conversation at ABFF with Ryan and will discuss his journey to success, how he catapulted from a breakout indie talent to an A-list director and the path he took to become one of the most coveted and sought-after filmmakers in Hollywood.

Ryan’s trajectory has been nothing short of amazing and in 2016 ABFF Ventures recognized Ryan for his accomplishments and presented him with the Rising Star award at the ABFF Honors, televised on BET Networks.

To purchase tickets to “Celebrity Talk Series,” panels and event, as well as festival passes, go to www.ABFF.com. To apply for media credentials to cover the 2018 American Black Film Festival, apply here: http://www.abff.com/media/media-credentials/.

Follow ABFF on its social media platforms:

Twitter                @ABFF

Facebook            American Black Film Festival

Instagram           @AmericanBlackFilmFestival

YouTube             American Black Film Festival

Hashtags             #ABFF18, #WeAreABFF

Website               www.ABFF.com

Sponsors for the 2018 American Black Film Festival are HBO® (Founding and Presenting Sponsor); Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (Host and Presenting Sponsor); TV One, Cadillac, Comcast NBCUniversal (Presenting Sponsors); BET, Turner (Premier Sponsors); American Airlines, Codeblack Films, The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Verizon (Official Sponsors); Gentleman Jack, LOL Networks, and truTV (Supporting Sponsors); and SAGIndie, Walter Kaitz Foundation (Industry Partners).


The American Black Film Festival (ABFF) is an annual event dedicated to showcasing quality film and television content by and about people of African descent. The festival is committed to the belief that Black artists and content creators deserve the same opportunities as their mainstream counterparts. ABFF founder Jeff Friday conceived the festival in 1997 as a vehicle to promote diversity in the motion picture industry, and strengthen the Black filmmaking community through resource sharing, education, artistic collaboration and career development. For more than two decades, the ABFF has been the standard-bearer of excellence in independent Black cinema, having premiered the works and supported the careers of many of today’s most successful artists, including Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Anthony Anderson (Blackish), Will Packer (Girls Trip), Issa Rae (Insecure), Omari Hardwick (Power) and Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro). Today, it is the preeminent pipeline for Black talent, in front of and behind the camera, significantly expanding the range of talent in the entertainment industry at large. The ABFF is a property of ABFF Ventures LLC, a multifaceted entertainment company specializing in the production of live events, television and digital content, targeted to upscale African American audiences. The company is a joint venture between Film Life Inc. and Black Enterprise, two prominent media and event companies, each with legacies of showcasing the best of African American culture and achievement.

Ryan Coogler to headline ABFF Celebrity Talk Series