Ryan Coogler published a beautiful ode to Ava DuVernay on Friday, the nationwide opening of her Disney film A Wrinkle In Time.
And the Black Panther director did not hold back: “Ava DuVernay is someone who makes the impossible look easy. It’s why I feel privileged to call her my big sister,” he raved in the letter published on ESPN’s website.
He praised her previous work as a publicist, an advocate and a storyteller:
“Ava is a pioneer. She makes the most distant dreams and ideas a reality. She made a show called “Queen Sugar” and mandated the use of female directors and key creatives a full two years before the great Frances McDormand shared with the world what an inclusion rider was. Ava is inclusion, equity and representation.”
The two have been friends since 2013, and they even edited their blockbuster movies across the hall from each other. Duvernay was one of Coogler's biggest cheerleaders when "Black Panther" premiered a few weeks ago.
Their close friendship has allowed Coogler a glimpse of Duvernay's humanity and strength:
“Ava is the past, present and future," Coogler wrote. "She is all of these things, but sometimes I forget she is human. I was reminded of this a couple of years back, when I got the heartbreaking news that she had lost her father. I almost lost my father, and it nearly broke me in half. Ava, the warrior, weathered that loss while making “13th” to show everyone with a Netflix subscription that American slavery never ended — it had only morphed.”
Duvernay acknowledge the heartfelt essay by sharing it on her Twitter page.
“When your friend makes you tear up on opening day,” she wrote.