To make one of the most anticipated films of this year, Nate Parker received financial and and industry support from the Sundance institute. With his work now finished, the multitalented man behind Birth of a Nation will pass the torch to one lucky filmmaker of color, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

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Before Parker’s creation will hit box offices come October, his film appeared at the Sundance Festival and gained the attention of Fox Searchlight Pictures and the Sundance Institute. Last night [Thursday, August 12], the institute awarded him with the Vanguard Award. And in front of the esteemed innovators in film, he described the fellowship that his own process inspired him to create.

The Birth of Nation fellowship brings the actors and team of the film in to aid an aspiring filmmaker between 18 and 25 years old. The fellowship lasts five years, in which the recipient will join the Sundance Ignite program each year. They will receive mentorship along the way and see the Sundance Film Festival up close.


“Sometimes you need someone that knows something, you need someone that supports something great, that recognizes something great,” Parker said while being honored, “You need someone to tell you, ‘Yes, you can do it.'”