First time director Ryan Coogler has become the hottest name in Hollywood since his film “Fruitvale” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. The 26-year-old Oakland native has crafted a touching portrait of Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old father who was killed by BART police officers in 2009.
“Fruitvale” has been picked up for major distribution and should be in a theater near you soon, but how much do you know about this up-and-coming talent? Here are five things you should know.
1. Filmmaking is his therapy– Being a young black man in America comes wih its own headaches and frustrations, but Coogler has found a way to channel his passion. When speaking to the L.A. Times, Coogler confessed ”[films are] my outlet for my fears, for the things that make me angry or frustrated, for messages I want to get out.”
2. Ryan Coogler is Oscar Grant– The young filmmaker feels he has a special connection with Oscar Grant, who was his age when he as killed. ”I saw the videos almost at once. He was dressed like me and my friends dress, he looked like us. It was kind of like it happened to me, or someone I know.”