Picture of Ryan Coogler Ava DuVernay
Credit: Gabriel Olsen / Getty Images

Over the past year or two, we have seen a definite increase in the number of diverse films being made and recognized. The 2018 Oscar nominations were more diverse than previous years, and the ceremony brought important discussions of both racial and gender equality to the forefront. It would be so nice if Hollywood had always been this powerful, this beautiful, and this diverse. But the truth is, we still have a long way to go. There are a couple of really important directors who have continued to pave the way for more people of color in film. Not just as actors, but those behind the scenes as well. And two of them are Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay.

Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay are two names that most of us probably recognize at this point. Both are powerhouse directors who have done wonders for Black cinema. Coogler, who tends to pair up for projects with Michael B. Jordan, has directed some of the most critically acclaimed films of the past ten years. Not only is the man behind Creed and Fruitvale Station, he just directed a little film called Black Panther. Maybe you caught that one? This weekend, it crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office.

DuVernay is the director behind Selma, 13th, and the newly released A Wrinkle in Time.

This makes her the first Black female director to helm a $100 million film. Ever. Not only are these two incredible filmmakers, but they also lift up and support one another, and it’s amazing to see. Just in time for her big opening weekend, Coogler penned a tribute to DuVernay that will absolutely melt your heart.

In a moving essay for espnW, Coogler called DuVernay one of his heroes.

Inclusion, equity, and representation. Three words that we cannot get enough of right now. It is incredibly special to hear them.

Coogler’s letter is beautiful from start to finish.

Naturally, DuVernay hit him back with just as much love on Twitter.

She also shared the post to her Instagram Story, saying she “cried real tears.” Same.

Credit: Ava DuVernay /

It’s incredible to see these two brilliant moviemakers lift each other, and everyone else, right up to the sky.