Ryan Coogler, pictured above, introduced himself to the film industry back in 2013 with the debut of his film Fruitvale Station at the Sundance Film Festival. It was the first film since 2009's Precious to receive both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for U.S. Dramatic Film. And now he's making waves again with New Line Cinema and Warner Bros.' Creed, the Rocky sequel that opened over Thanksgiving with critical raves including 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (If you haven't already, check out photos from the film's L.A. premiere.)
Time Warner and Coogler's relationship, however, began much before his award-winning debut. In 2012, Coogler received a fellowship from the Time Warner Foundation and was accepted into the Sundance Institute Screenwriter's Lab. Through this program, Coogler refined the Fruitvale script that would eventually make him a household name.
The fellowship program develops diverse artists in the Sundance Institute’s major programs and offers mentoring, screenplay readings, screenings and related programs and events. Coogler has said, “The Time Warner Foundation fellowship helped [Fruitvale Station] in so many ways,” attributing some of his success to the funding support and creative feedback provided by the Foundation’s strategic grant and partnership.