Marshall, Texas — Wiley College announces creation of the Nate Parker Summer Film Institute, a competitive program for incoming high school seniors and College-level students to be conducted July 8-17, on the campus. Established by the Nate Parker Foundation in March, the institute is seeking applicants who are academic achievers, politically engaged and interested in history. Deadline for applications is April 30. For an application or more information, call Wiley College at (903) 927-3385 or the Nate Parker Foundation at (914) 304-4290. Students interested in the program can also visit the Wiley College website at www.wileyc.edu or the Nate Parker Foundation website at www.nateparkerfoundation.org.
“We are seeking 30 incoming high school seniors and College-level students with genuine passion for film, storytelling and social justice,” said Dr. Haywood Strickland, president of Wiley College. “Students accepted into this unique program will receive comprehensive overviews of both the African-American experience in film and the mechanics of film production.”
Benefactor and namesake of the Institute, actor, director and producer Nate Parker made history at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival when his directorial debut, “Birth of a Nation,” won the festival’s Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize; Fox Searchlight paid a record $17.5 million for distribution rights. At Parker’s request, the Wiley College A Cappella Choir provided atmospheric music on the film’s soundtrack. In March, Parker was inducted into the Wiley College Board of Trustees.
In honor of Nate Parker, the Interdisciplinary Studies Degree program at Wiley College will begin offering courses from its existing track with focus on film, theatre, and drama in Fall 2016. And working in collaboration with Parker and his foundation, Wiley College has hopes of launching the Nate Parker School of Film, Drama, and Theatre at some time in the future.
Parker’s relationship with the college began 10 years ago, when he played a supporting role to Denzel Washington in “The Great Debaters,” a 2007 film based on the 1930s Wiley debate team, which went undefeated for ten years in championship competitions.
The Nate Parker Summer Film Institute will train future filmmakers as historians, activists and artists to be change agents who challenge prevalent images and stereotypes of people of African descent within media.
Courses in the 10-day institute will include African diaspora history and culture, cultural media literacy and critical thought, film, media and social justice, director’s studio, acting studio, cinematography, screenwriting, lighting, audio, editing, and budgeting.
The announcement of the summer film institute and future plans to develop the Nate Parker School of Film, Drama and Theatre comes only a month after the 2016 Academy Awards ceremony, in which no African-American actors or directors received nominations for Oscars.