Nate Parker Starts Fellowship for Filmmakers

nate parker

Nate Parker is on a roll. After threatening to give up acting and investing his own money into bringing Nat Turner’s story to the big screen, the Birth of A Nation star is enjoying the spoils of his hard work.

Thursday night, Parker was award the prestigious Vanguard Award by the Sundance Institute and announced he was partnering with the organization to create a fellowship for filmmakers of color.

The fellowship, named for Parker’s highly-anticipated film, will choose one young filmmaker between the ages of 18-25 every year for the next five years and help them connect to industry insiders to gain information and access few only dream of. Recipients will also get to attend the Sundance Film Festival and other Sundance Institute events throughout the duration of the fellowship.

During his acceptance speech, Parker had some sage words about his journey for aspiring filmmakers.

“I often compare it to being on an island… You’re by yourself and all you have is your script, your dream, your voice. And you’re surrounded by an ocean of fear, an ocean of doubt, an ocean of despair, an ocean of reasons why that voice does not need to exist in the world,” Shadow and Act reports. “Sometimes you need someone that knows something, you need someone that supports something great, that recognizes something great. You need someone to tell you, ‘Yes, you can do it.”

This isn’t the first time Parker invested in young creatives of color. Back in March Parker announced he was launching a film school at Wiley College, a HBCU in Marshall, Texas.

Parker’s The Birth of a Nation shattered records earlier this year at Sundance when it was acquired by Fox Searchlight for an astounding $17.5 million. The project also earned Parker Grand Jury and Audience awards at the festival. It hits theaters this fall.