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.