On Thursday, the Sundance Institute awarded Nate Parker with the Vanguard Award for writing, directing and starring in The Birth of a Nation about Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831.
In turn, Parker announced that he was creating a five-year endowment, funded by the film’s cast and crew, for a new Birth of a Nation Fellowship program at Sundance for young filmmakers of color. The fellowship will select one 18-to-24-year old filmmaker to participate in Sundance’s Ignite program yearly.
“I’ve worked very hard to use my art to combat injustices everywhere I see them,” Parker said at Sundance’s Night Before Next benefit, where he accepted the award. “That’s my voice … and having institutions like Sundance support those things is everything.”
In March, Parker also launched the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute at Wiley College (a HBCU) in Marshall, Texas, to support aspiring filmmakers in college and in their senior year of high school.