Filmmaker Nate Parker has teamed up with East Texas’ HBCU Wiley College to launch the ‘Nate Parker School of Film and Drama,’ which officially opens for classes this fall.

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The Beyond The Lights actor tweeted the exciting news last Sunday [March 20] with his aim to “cultivate new voices” in Hollywood.

The film school will encompass all aspects of filmmaking into its courses including sound, lighting, cinematography, film studies, the cultural component and the history of film. The 36-year-old’s mission is to ensure Hollywood becomes more ethnically diverse and starts to portray minorities as multifaceted characters with a range of stories, instead of just stereotypical roles.


Parker recognizes the power of the big screen in shaping the minds of the youth and comments, “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.” Before classes start in the fall, Nate is offering 30 high school and college students the opportunity to take part in a nine-day pilot program of the course this summer.

One of his previous acting roles in 2007 film The Great Debaters, alongside Denzel Washington and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, inspired the school’s new home in Wiley College. The college was previously used during filming as the campus for the film’s 1930’s debate students. The a capella choir cast in The Great Debaters was also used for the soundtrack of Parker’s upcoming biopic Birth of a Nation based on the story of Nat Turner. The Birth of a Nation writer, director and star won two Sundance Film Festival Awards for his powerful flick, which comes out this October.