Nate Parker to Receive Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award
Michael Rowe

The much-acclaimed film The Birth of a Nation hasn’t even hit theaters yet and the dynamic work of its writer, director and producer, Nate Parker will once again be honored

Announced on Tuesday, Parker will receive the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award as part of the Night Before Next benefit Aug. 11 in downtown Los Angeles.

Sundance hosted the film’s independent debut in which it received high recognition and was later picked up for release by Fox Searchlight Pictures in the largest deal ever out of the festival. 

Watch The Powerful Trailer For Nate Parker’s ‘The Birth Of A Nation’


Keri Putnam, the Sundance Institute’s executive director, spoke Parker’s praises in a statement, saying the honor is truly well-deserved. 

“Night Before Next will bring our community together to celebrate and support independent artists who create bold, original work. 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.”

Previous winners of the Sundance Institute honor include Fruitvale Station writer and director Ryan Coogler.

The Birth of a Nation which stars Parker, Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union and How to Get Away with Murder actress Aja Naomi King tells the story of the slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in 1831 and debuts in theaters October 7. 

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.