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Ryan Coogler delivers deeply personal, career-spanning insights into his craft and the places, people and experiences that have shaped his work for BAFTA’s prestigious 2022 David Lean Lecture

13 December 2022
BAFTA David Lean Lecture: Ryan CooglerGetty Images for BAFTA
  • Award-winning Black Panther: Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler addressed a full house at BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly HQ yesterday evening
  • The prestigious David Lean Lecture offers a glimpse into the experiences and creative achievements of some of the most compelling filmmakers in the world
  • The Lecture is generously supported by The David Lean Foundation, which continues to support and encourage excellence in filmmaking

Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter Ryan Coogler delivered this year’s David Lean Lecture – a highlight of BAFTA’s public programme - educating, informing and inspiring the public by providing rare insight into the craft and method of some of the world’s leading and sector defining filmmakers. Over the course of 90 minutes, to a packed-out auditorium of aspiring and established creatives and wider members of the public at BAFTA’s 195 Piccadilly HQ, Coogler discussed his journey to becoming the ground-breaking filmmaker.

Black Panther found phenomenal success; making history as the first big-budget film to be fronted by a predominantly black superhero ensemble. Having made his mark as a socially-engaged filmmaker with Fruitvale Station (2013) and commercially-successful with Creed (2015), it was Coogler’s vision of a new Marvel-verse in Black Panther that cemented him in Hollywood. With box office takings of over $1billion worldwide, the film was hailed as a major move forward for African-American representation, on and off-screen.

At BAFTA’s David Lean Lecture, Coogler shared personal insights and experiences linked to five recurring and central themes within his work: identity, community, ritual, fear and time. Touching on his upbringing and the places, relationships and films that shaped his early childhood, to the pivot from a passion for sports to screenwriting, to early experiences of filmmaking to writing Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Coogler delivered a deeply moving and personal lecture.

Access to the full transcript can be made on request and event imagery can be found here

Alongside highlighting his admiration for the work of Sir David Lean, whose foundation supports the annual BAFTA lecture series; Coogler also shared quotes from filmmakers including the late John Singleton and the late Chadwick Boseman who have played an instrumental role in shaping his creative vision and work. Coogler underscored the personal responsibility he feels as a Black filmmaker in amplifying positive representation of African-Americans on and off-screen, and closed the lecture by encouraging the audience to realise their creative ambitions. "There is no time like the present."

Coogler’s co-founded production company Proximity Media has produced the Academy Award winning Judas and The Black Messiah and Warner Bros.’ Space Jam: A New Legacy as well as the upcoming sequel, Creed III for MGM.

The David Lean Lecture is a continuation of the legacy of David Lean, who is remembered as one of the founders of the British Film Academy (as it was known then). Over the years, the lecture has attracted industry figures including Lone Scherfig, Martin Scorsese, Paul Greengrass, Pedro Almodóvar, Spike Lee, David Lynch and Sydney Pollack.


Notes to Editors

  • A selection of photography from tonight’s event is available via BAFTA’s Media Library
  • Specially commissioned portraiture of Ryan Coogler at BAFTA is available via Contour RA
  • In 2011, Ryan was a finalist for the BAFTA Student Film Awards in North America for his short film Fig. BAFTA's Student Film Awards have been an opportunity for BAFTA members and the public in North America to discover emerging talent. 

For further information:

Dingile Kasote, Press Officer at BAFTA

T 020 7292 5863

[email protected]


BAFTA – the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For more, visit BAFTA is a registered charity (no. 216726).