The Nate Parker Foundation | 2016 Summer Film Institute
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2016 Summer Film Institute

The Inaugural Nate Parker Summer Film Institute

Instructors/Student Short Film Crew

image04Cary Anderson is an LA acting coach and former manager with over twenty years in the business. He has worked with many notable actors and musicians (Nate Parker, Jesse Plemons, Chad Michael Murray, Kat Graham, Bella Thorne, Curtis Jackson, Fergie, and to name a few). He has had the pleasure to work with Nate Parker since the beginning of his career.



image17Kay Madsen is a cinematographer who works on commercials, music videos, documentary, experimental, and feature films. He has shot national and international campaigns for clients such as Google, Microsoft, BMW, Levi’s, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, and promos for Universal Music, Sony Music, Virgin Music, American Express, and Keds. His work has been featured in the Berlin Film Festival, Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, Urbanworld in NY, Outfest, LA Film Fest, White Cube Gallery in London, Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Tokyo, and Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, among others. Kay’s work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, Variety, Indiewire, Rolling Stone, and American Cinematographer Magazine. 

image15Ya’Ke Smith known for his unflinching and veracious style of storytelling, is a rising voice in independent cinema. His films have received worldwide acclaim, screening and winning awards at over 90 film festivals. Ya’Ke has been featured on NPR, CNN, HLN, Ebony Online, Indiewire, Filmmaker Magazine and Shadow&Act. He graduated with his B.A. from the Communication Arts Department at the University of The Incarnate Word, where he later became the youngest recipient of the Alumni of Distinction for Professional Achievement award. He received his M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin’s film program. He is currently the Morgan Woodward Distinguished Professor of Film at the University of Texas at Arlington.


image09Mel Jones is a passionate independent content producer and storyteller. Upon graduation from Howard University with a Film Degree, she entered the world of non- fiction television, working full time at Discovery Communications. As her interest in narrative filmmaking grew she applied to the American Film Institute (AFI) and was awarded the highly coveted Hewlett Packard Scholarship to attend AFI. Shortly after earning her MFA in Producing, Jones gained employment at Participant Media, her former internship, as a development assistant.  She later began a mentorship with independent Producer Stephanie Allain, who later hired her. Mel has risen through the ranks and is currently the Director of Development at Homegrown Pictures.  Mel most recently served as a producer on Homegrown’s latest independent feature, French Dirty, and is at the helm of Homegrown’s expansion into short form content.


image07Qasim “Q” Basir is an award-winning filmmaker. His first feature film, MOOZ-lum, received much critical acclaim, with nominations from the NAACP Image Awards and the Black Reel Awards. It won Best Narrative Feature at the 14th Annual Urban World Film Festival in New York. Basir’s most recent film, Destined, earned him the Best Director award at the 20th American Black Film Festival.

Basir’s earlier films include his first short, Glimpse, which won the Drama Category in the One Nation Film contest and The Inspiration of Barack, for which Qasim received the “Inspirational Filmmaker of the Year” award from the Memphis Black Writers Film Festival.


image14Ryan Mulkay is a stage and film actor, playwright and teacher. Los Angeles Theatre credits include: Conk and Bone (Carrie Hamilton Theater at the Pasadena Playhouse) Mad Forest (Open Fist Theatre Co.) and Gruesome Playground Injuries (Rogue Machine Theatre). Film credits: Eden (with Nate Parker), The Land (Sundance 2016) and The Birth of a Nation (Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize Sundance 2016).




image26Abbie Alvarez is an accomplished creative makeup artist with experience in all aspects of media makeup, fashion, video and print. Her training and education, along with her affable personality, provides her clients with a dependable, detail-oriented, and multi-faceted professional who adds to the success of the creative team on any project. She works within the production budget and schedule, regardless of the nature, scope or location. Abigail’s diverse background and experience complement her artistic talent. She has the innate ability to bring out the natural beauty of her subject, no matter the gender, ethnicity or character portrayal.



image01Mark Phillips is a composer for television, film, games and all forms of media. He was raised by a military family in the Washington DC area and was exposed to music of all styles from a young age ranging from Beethoven to Earth Wind and Fire, and from Bob Dylan to Black Flag. Early on he studied clarinet, piano and drums, moving on to guitar. As a guitarist, Phillips played with Down By Law, the Joykiller and others. He toured in 48 states and 18 countries sharing the stage with artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stone Temple Pilots, the Offspring and many more. In the late ‘90s he had a song licensed for Curb Film’s slasher “Headless Body in a Topless Bar”. That began an interest in music licensing and music composition for TV and Film. As a result, he completed Audio Engineering School at Pinnacle College,  as well as the UCLA Extension Entertainment Studies program in Music Composition for TV and Film.   In 2002, Phillips found work on the CBS juggernaut The Amazing Race with friend and mentor Lee Sanders. While The Amazing Race was on hiatus, he connected with Vanacore Music and began writing for Big Brother, The Apprentice, Survivor and many other shows. In 2010 he won a BMI Award for his work on the Discovery show Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment and in 2012 he won a BMI Award for his work on the CBS hit Undercover Boss. He also works closely with Immediate Music which specializes in music production for motion picture trailers. To date, it’s estimated Phillips has composed about 6,000 pieces. Whenever possible Phillips mentors young composers, students, and has lectured in the UCLA Extension program.

image23Korstiaan “Kors” Vandiver Kors hails from Atlanta where he took a serious interest in directing after he served as an apprentice and eventually received some serious mentoring advice from Director Spike Lee. Kors started Blue Angel Entertainment then took a leap of faith to Los Angeles where, within less than two months, he got a paid gig to write a script based on the life of singer John Legend. Kors’ action/drama film, Run Cholo Run, was shown in the Vice & Folly screening in Park City, Utah in 2012. Since then, Kors has garnered interest from organizations such as Sony/Columbia, Veralux Media, and Fox. As a Director, he was nominated for his film Entropy in the 2012, 168 Film Festival. His film LU, starring Nate Parker, was a 168 film finalist with 11 nominations including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’; ‘Best Screenplay’, winning four awards and was an HBO/BET Urbanworld Official Selection. LU also took one award in the International One Lens Festival and screened at a special Sundance board member event in 2014. As screenwriter/filmmaker Kors has captured the interest of the “Big 3” agencies, ICM, CAA & WME as well as his screenwriting which has garnered interest from Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way. Kors, is currently producing his first feature film along with the help of his wife and closest producer partner Kimberly Vandiver. The husband and wife team are always working toward creating meaningful projects that will have worldwide impact.

image16Randy Kizer is an exceptionally talented production designer and art director. His past gigs include commercials for Samsung, Lenovo, and Coke; feature films with stars Kristen Bell, Kevin Sorbo, and Tony Hale; and an on-going job working with Production Design students at the American Film Institute.


Before settling into his current role as Production Designer and Pirate King, Randy dabbled in various art department areas, over the last five years. He has developed specialties in Design, Set Construction, Prop Fabrication and Hanging Sheer Curtains.

image20John Robinette entered the world of editing more than 20 years ago and has worked on just about every type of project imaginable, from corporate marketing to music videos to short films to TV shows to documentaries. The main thread that connects all of these different styles is storytelling. Never succumbing to pressure and always able to problem-solve his way out of any situation, John is a consummate professional who will let nothing stand in the way of telling your story.


image00Eve Butterly is a single mother and a script supervisor, in roughly that order. Eve graduated with a degree in Communications and Psychology from the University of Michigan and moved to Texas to pursue a career in motion pictures. After a short stint as a staff production office coordinator for a corporate video company, Eve has been “self-unemployed” in the film business ever since 1989. At first, she divided her work between script supervising and production managing. After the birth of her daughter in 2002, she took five years off to be a stay at home mom before jumping back in exclusively as a script supervisor. Eve’s work has included commercials, industrials, web series, short films and features as well as scripted and reality television. Notably, she has worked on shows like THE GOOD GUYS (FOX), DALLAS (TNT), SALEM (WGN), PRISON BREAK (FOX) and WALKER, TEXAS RANGER (CBS), with such celebrities as Bradley Whitford, Colin Hanks, Cindy Crawford, Sean Patrick Flanery, Lea Thompson, Ashley Judd and Kevin Sorbo. In the future, Eve hopes to continue earning a living solely in the film business working on bigger and better projects to be able to afford college for her daughter.

Dwight Wilson II is aWriter/director/producer and native of Oklahoma City, OK, by way of Atlanta, GA, where he attended Georgia State University as a film major. He later began his film career by establishing his own production company Innervision Filmworks, Inc. His passion for writing was birthed at the young age of 12, where as a novice playwright Dwight directed his first stage play; all while attending Langston University. Dwight later relocated to Auckland, New Zealand transitioning into acting. He appeared in films such as, Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America (Sony, ABC) and Bridge to Terabithia (Disney). In 2007, Dwight shot his first short-film THE RETURN, a suspensethriller that follows an adolescent girl and her father, a widowed molecular biologist, who after experimenting with DNA reanimates his wife who has been dead for over a year. The film was shot in Auckland, Dwight was supported by a respectful production crew, colleagues of the great filmmaker Peter Jackson. He would make history as the first African-American to write, produce and direct a film in New Zealand. His most recent success came as the Behind-The-Scenes documentary director for Nate Parker’s record breaking Sundance hit, The Birth of a Nation.