Actor and filmmaker Nate Parker started off the year exceptionally, with the premiere of his film “Birth of A Nation”, earning a $17 million distribution deal, at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Parker announced via Twitter this weekend this launch of the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama at the historically black Wiley College, which was the setting for the film “The Great Debaters,” which he starred in alongside Denzel Washington.
— Nate Parker (@NateParker) March 20, 2016
Parker kept in touch with Wiley College, since the film, using their choir for his directorial debut, “Birth of A Nation.”
A 9-day summer institute program will lead as the pilot for the school, which will greet its first incoming class this fall. Approximately 30 high school and college students will be selected, including 10 current seniors at Wiley College. According to KTLV, seniors Kenneth Crawford and Sydney Stanberry have already been selected to work with Parker during the summer program.
Parker hopes to empower young people in East Texas to tell their own stories, by being actively involved within the school and the program. “If I can create a pipeline toward filmmaking physically through developing the college, having filmmakers be nurtured and cultivated here, and then having somewhere for them to go with respect for them actually being able to engage in filmmaking here in East Texas, then it kind of serves multiple purposes,” Parker added.
Applications for the summer program will be available this week.