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Nate Parker, the creative force behind the highly anticipated Nat Turner biopicThe Birth of A Nation, is once again putting his money where his mouth is. Over the weekend, the writer/director/actor announced he was launching at film school at Wiley College, a historically Black institution in Texas.

“You control the moving picture, you control the masses,” Parker said during his announcement. “So really getting them rallied around the idea of re-claiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color.”

Parker practices what he preaches. After struggling to get his film about Nat Turner made, Parker told his agent he wouldn’t accept any more acting roles until the project was complete. Parker stayed true to his word, raising $10 million to finish the film, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Parker’s commitment to telling Black stories motivated him to start a film program at Wiley College, the setting of his breakout film The Great Debaters. 

“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 explained.

The first class of aspiring filmmakers will begin in the fall, but this summer, the Nate Parker Film School will welcome 30 high school and college students for a summer intensive.

In addition to founding the film school, Parker has also been named to Wiley College’s Board of Trustees.

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