Nate Parker Opens Film School at ‘Great Debaters’ HBCU

Nate ParkerActor Nate Parker has announced that come fall, students at Wiley College will be able to enroll in the Nate Parker School of Film and Drama.

The actor has been making all kinds of positive waves lately, most recently writing, directing and starring in The Birth of a Nation, the story of Nat Turner. The film debuted at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2016 to critical acclaim and FOX subsequently purchased the film’s worldwide rights for $17.5 million, the largest deal at the film festival to date.

Now in his next big move, Parker has opened a film school on the campus of the East Texas HBCU. Wiley College served as the setting in The Great Debaters, one of Parker’s first major feature film roles and since his time working on the film, Parker has maintained a relationship with the school, using their a capella choir for the soundtrack of his film The Birth of a Nation and currently sitting on their Board of Trustees.

“The hope is that we cover all aspects of filmmaking, from sound, lighting and cinematography, to just studying film specifically with the cultural component and the history of film,” said Parker to KLTV. “You control the moving picture, you control the masses … so really getting them rallied around the idea of reclaiming the narrative of America, specifically through the eyes of people of color.”

The school’s first classes will be held in the fall but prior to opening day, 30 high school and college students will attend a nine-day summer intensive, which will serve as a pilot program for the school. The school has already selected ten current seniors at Wiley College to serve as the summer program’s staff.

Parker has said that he does intend on being actively involved in the school.

pictured: Nate Parker at the 9th Annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA on February 25th. (Photo Credit:Aaron J. Thornton / PR Photos)