Angela Fitzpatrick

Filmmaker, star of “The Great Debaters” and “Beyond the Lights,” partners with Wiley College for film school

MARSHALL- Monday morning, Wiley College was a top trending topic on Facebook as news of filmmaker/actor Nate Parker’s funding of a drama and film school at the historically black college.

Nate Parker was in Marshall last week for the big announcement. According Parker, his hope for the film and drama school is “to cover all aspects of filmmaking from sound, lighting and cinematography to just studying film.”

Before the official launching of the film and drama school, Wiley College will host a nine-day summer “film and drama institute” as a pilot for around 30 students.

Jayden Fitzpatrick, a Marshall ISD student and son of Curtis and Angela Fitzpatrick, was honored to have met Nate Parker at Wiley College. Photo by Angela Fitzpatrick

In an interview with media outlets, Parker said, “If I can create a pipeline toward filmmaking physically through developing the college, having filmmakers be nurtured and cultivated here, and then having somewhere for them to go with respect for them actually being able to engage in filmmaking here in East Texas, then it kind of serves multiple purposes.”


Parker, 36, is a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and has starred in such films as Beyond the Lights, Red Tails, The Secret Life of Bees, The Great Debaters, Arbitrage, Non-Stop, Felon and Pride.

The film school is not Parker’s first venture with Wiley College. He has also assisted in funding scholarships for students in the past.

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