Students make film with 'Great Debaters' actor Nate Parker

Published: Jul. 13, 2017 at 10:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 13, 2017 at 11:25 PM CDT
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(Source: Eric Pointer/ KSLA News 12)
(Source: Eric Pointer/ KSLA News 12)

MARSHALL, TX (KSLA) - Students from an East Texas school and others throughout the country made a short film while taking part in a Hollywood actor's film institute.

Nate Parker, of the movie "The Great Debaters," Nate Parker returned to Marshall, the Texas city where that movie was filmed, for his summer film institute.

The institute at Wiley College gave students an opportunity to get hands-on experience making a short film.

"With respect to being hands-on, that's how I learned," Parker said. "Someone I worked with in 'The Great Debaters' whom I respected very much said 'You learn to do by doing'."

The students came up with the idea, wrote the script then acted in and directed the film.

Wiley College sophomore Fortune Onwunali said he was appreciative of the experience.

"So that way in the future I will have an idea of what I want to do and more depth of what I want to become."

Others said they were happy to be working with an actor of Parker's caliber.

"Because he gives you great feedback that I can take and use in my auditions to hopefully be on his level one day," Baylor University's Ashley Williams said.

Parker is teaching them that acting is a lot more than what people may think, said Branden Lindsay, a senior at William Carry University.

"I believe he's trying to educate the masses about what is going on. Well, within acting, I want to be able to use my platform to educate as well and to help my community and to build my community."

The students' final product will be revealed at the 2017 2nd Annual Summer Film Institute Red Carpet Event at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Julius S. Scott Sr. Chapel, 711 Wiley Ave. in Marshall.

The showing is free and open to the public.

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