Nate Parker to Receive Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award

Nate Parker
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

Nate Parker will receive the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award at Night Before Next, a summer celebration benefiting the Institute and its artists Aug. 11, on the eve of Sundance’s Next Fest at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Parker’s directorial debut, “The Birth of a Nation,” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won both the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize. The Sundance Institute Feature Film Program supported the feature from development to post-production, through both ongoing mentorship and grant programs.

Parker has appeared as an actor in several films at the festival in previous years, including Spike Lee’s “Red Hook Summer”; “Arbitrage,” opposite Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon; and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” opposite Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, and Ben Foster.

“Night Before Next will bring our community together to celebrate and support independent artists who create bold, original work,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance Institute. “In this spirit, we are excited to honor Nate Parker as he prepares to release the extraordinary film ‘The Birth of a Nation,’ which we supported during development and premiered at our Festival.”

Fox Searchlight will release “Birth of a Nation” theatrically Oct. 7 in the U.S. Parker is developing a number of projects through his production company, Tiny Giant Productions.

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  1. Jared says:

    It feels awful that in the wake of the Stanford case, a guy who was involved in a campus sexual assault like Nate is now being honored as a “vanguard”… another comment concerning this was deleted… which feels even ickier…

    • timgray2013 says:

      For the record, he was accused but he was cleared of charges in 2001.

      • BillinHP says:

        Sundance is going to have egg all over its face now, too. The more ifo that comes out, along with Parker’s insensitive comments are going to blow up in liberal Hollywood’s face. I’m reading now that Parker’s victim (when you admit in a phone conversation that you allowed your buddy to rape a passed young woman and invited others to do the same the correct word IS victim) may have ended up killing herself later. If that is true the stuff is really going to hit the fan. Fox Searchlight might just have to take a write down on that 17.5 mil. And maybe Sundance should stop promoting their rapist protege.

      • Jared says:

        You should read the story. Nate and the guy he wrote the movie with were both charged. They were then accused of harassing the victim after. And the writer was actually convicted of a sexual assault. The university eventually settled with the victim for 17K. It is all online.

        As we all know now, the system is stacked against victims in these campus cases, and false accusations are incredibly rare. I was a huge fan of his and the movie. But I was horrified when I read this story. It needs to be addressed.

      • timgray2013 says:

        As you say, they were charged. The court acquitted Parker.

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