The stars who crowd the ski resort of Utah's Park City each year for the Sundance Film Festival are likely to include Nate Parker, maybe with a protégé. Parker is the writer-director-producer-star of the Oscar-tipped sensation of Sundance 2016, The Birth of a Nation.
Fox Searchlight bought the movie, which won the Jury and Audience Award, for a Sundance record of U.S. $17.5 million.
Variety magazine reports that at the Sundance Night Before Next event in August, Parker acknowledged the help he received from the Sundance Institute, which sponsors the festival, in making his film. Now, he's "paying it forward" as he explained. His Birth of a Nation fellowship will sponsor a filmmaker of colour, 18 to 25 years old, for the next five years to participate in the Sundance Ignite programme. The programme is a year-long fellowship with the Sundance Institute that allows aspiring filmmakers to attend the festival and mingle with the industry heavyweights.
The 10-day festival brings more than 40,000 people to Park City and nearby venues each January to celebrate the work of independent storytellers in film. Thousands of films are screened in 13 separate venues.
Date written/update: 2016-11-09