Arts & Entertainment

Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler to receive first Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award

PARK CITY, Utah — The Sundance Institute announced the first of its 2023 honorees yesterday, including the recipient of an entirely new award.

Ryan Coogler, the writer-director-producer of “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed,” “Black Panther,” and “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” will be the first to receive the Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award.

“The first annual Sundance Institute | Variety Visionary Award recognizes a notable Sundance Institute alumni who is deeply connected to the organization and its programs, and has proceeded to establish an extraordinary career that personifies a unique perspective and embodies a commitment to impactful storytelling.” Said a press release from the Sundance Institute. “The inaugural award is being given to an individual who fully embodies our commitment to impactful storytelling: Ryan Coogler.”

The Sundance Institute also announced that the Vanguard Award for nonfiction will be presented to W. Kamau Bell, director of “We Need to Talk About Cosby,” and the Vanguard Award for fiction will go to Nikyatu Jusu, director of “Nanny.” The Vanguard Award honors artists whose work highlights the art of storytelling, as well as creative independence.

“Kamau and Nikyatu join the likes of past honorees such as Ryan Coogler (who received the award in 2013), Siân Heder, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Radha Blank, Lulu Wang, Dee Rees, Damien Chazelle, Marielle Heller, Benh Zeitlin, Boots Riley, and many more.” Said a press release from the Sundance Institute.

The Sundance Institute’s opening night, “A Taste of Sundance“, is slated for January 19 , and is expected to kick off the 2023 Film Festival in a new way.

“A Taste of Sundance will raise crucial funds for the essential work Sundance Institute does year round — grants, mentorships, critical resources and hosting the Festival where new voices are discovered and launched — all made possible from the generosity of our donor community.” Said a press release from the Sundance Institute. “Join us to honor Ryan Coogler, Nikyatu Jusu, W. Kamau Bell, and others, while we gather back in Utah to eat, drink, and enjoy a memorable evening uplifting filmmakers and the incredible stories they bring to life.”

The opening night celebration will take place at the Basin Recreation Fieldhouse on January 19 at 7 p.m., with dinner and a program beginning at 8:30 p.m.

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