Ryan Coogler – breakout filmmaker of 2013 Sundance Film Festival

Each year at the Sundance Film Festival Awards ceremony, we all get a little overwhelmed with emotion and joyfully teary hearing the filmmakers who come up to accept prizes as they share their incredible experience on the mountain. I remember being quite moved by Brit Marling when she accepted a Special Jury Award for Another Earth in 2011.  She was so eloquent, real and inspired.  I’ve noticed that many of the filmmakers emphasize their deep gratitude for having been able to meet fellow filmmakers and their work, as a result imbuing them with a newfound charge and connection to the independent film community.  Last night at the Awards ceremony it was Ryan Coogler, the writer and director of Fruitvale, winner of both the Audience AND Grand Jury Award in the US Dramatic Competition who in his acceptance speech marked that memorable and electrifying festival highlight, perfectly capping off the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. His words triggered a Niagara Falls flood of raw emotion remarking on the spirit and beauty of cinema and how vital a role it plays in reflecting, celebrating, studying and hopefully changing our society and culture – Oscar Grant will be remembered. Watch the clip below to see.

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