Think you could be the next Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay or Ryan Coogler? Well, Nate Parker wants to give you a chance to shine. The actor, writer and director — whose name will be among those other celebrated directors once his drama Birth of a Nation comes out later this year — is opening a film and drama school at Wiley College in East Texas, a Historically Black College.
The school has a specific aim, according to Parker: get more Black voices in Hollywood. “You control the moving picture, you control the masses. So really getting them rallied around the idea of re-claiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color,” Parker said in a statement.
Classes for the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama will begin in the fall, but a pilot program for 30 high school and college students will take place over nine days this summer. Parker's connection to Wiley College is deep — he was chosen to sit on the Board of Trustees and even used members of the school choir for the soundtrack of Birth of a Nation.
As those who kept tabs on this year's Sundance Film Festival, where Birth of a Nation was the big winner, already know, Parker is about to blow up once his film about Nat Turner hits theaters in time for awards season.
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(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for DGA)