Director Ryan Coogler Surprises Young Filmmakers with a Grant from Synchrony Bank

Ryan Coogler, director of Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, recently paid a visit to Ghetto Film School (GFS), an award-winning nonprofit that educates, develops and celebrates the next generation of great American storytellers from local communities. Coogler attended a Fellows Session at Ghetto Film School’s Los Angeles, California, where he offered practical advice and shared his experience to 30 GFS students who are preparing for careers in the creative industries.

“Find out who you are first—because you probably don’t even know yet. And once you find that, hold onto it. Be unapologetic about it, because it’s going to make your perspective unique,” Coogler told them.

The director surprised the students with the announcement that Synchrony Bank, a promotional partner on Marvel Studios’ Black Panther, is donating a $50,000 grant to the GFS School Fellows program through its Synchrony Families That Work charitable program.

The excited students also attended Black Panther’s world premiere in Los Angeles on January 29. From prime spots on the red carpet, the GFS Students met and heard words of encouragement from cast members Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett and Lupita Nyong’o; as well as Black Panther producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and executive producer Victoria Alonso.

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther opens in U.S. theaters today.