Art and ExperienceSundance Institute announced that Nate Parker is this year’s Vanguard Award recipient. The award will be presented to the director and actor at the Night Before Next celebration on August 11 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. The summer festivity will benefit the Institute and its artists on the eve of Sundance Next Fest.

“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.”

Parker, who is making his directorial debut with “The Birth of a Nation,” stars as the slave Nat Turner who led the famous 1831 rebellion. The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award.

His previous work includes the Spike Lee-directed “Red Hook Summer,” “Arbitrage” with Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon and “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.” Parker is currently developing a number of projects through his production company, Tiny Giant Productions.

The actor, filmmaker and producer is the fifth recipient of the Vanguard Award. He joins past recipients Benh Zeitlin, Ryan Coogler, Damien Chazelle and Marielle Heller.

“The Birth of a Nation” opens in theaters on October 7.

Source: Indiewire