Almost as popular as the movie itself, is an initiative to ensure Marvel's Black Panther is well-watched by a generation of youth who may not have the means to attend on their own.

The #BlackPantherChallenge was launched by a New York Activist by the name of Frederick Joseph. Joseph’s call to action has been answered by more than 150 campaigns globally – including one here in Canada’s capital.

“We were able to raise over $4,000 to send 200 youth to go to the movie free of charge,” says Ottawa lawyer and philanthropist Aquilas Kapend-Dapaah.  She adds that she was confident Ottawa would rise to the occasion.

Time Magazine has penned an article on “The Revolutionary Power of Black Panther.” Meanwhile, previews have been given high ratings from critics; and it’s estimated to pull in $150 million in its opening weekend.

“It’s more than just a superhero movie,” insists Kapend-Dapaah. “It’s actually a historic moment and movement.”

The cast is predominantly black.

The narrative draws attention to female empowerment.

The production value is high with a budget in the neighbourhood of $200 million.

For these reasons, Kapend-Dapaah and her business partner Tasia Brown wanted to ensure Ottawa’s youth have no excuse to miss it.

The women behind have received letters from young Ottawa residents hoping to snag one of the seats for Saturday’s special screening at the Cineplex Scotiabank Theatre on City Park Drive.

Some of the letters shared with CTV Ottawa read:

  • “As black teenage girls, we don’t often see black women in female lead roles to inspire us”
  • “…we are so glad to see our continent as more than just a place filled with undeveloped countries where everyone lives in poverty.”

The cast includes notable Hollywood names like Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, and Angela Bassett. 

After the red-carpet debut in Los Angeles, some critics called it Marvel’s most political film to date.

The Ottawa youth who will be in attendance, come from various backgrounds and are connected to church groups and organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.

Black Panther opens on Friday.

Click here to find out how you can contribute to the  Ottawa campaign.