Filmmaker/actor Nate Parker is set to receive the Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award following the success of his new film The Birth of a Nation.
The Non-Stop star earned critical acclaim at this year’s (16) Sundance Film Festival for the historical drama and now organisers will honour him for the movie during a ceremony in Los Angeles in August (16).
Parker, who received support for the film from the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program, will be the fifth recipient of the award, joining past honourees such as Fruitvale Station’s Ryan Coogler and Whiplash director Damien Chazelle.
Parker directed, wrote, and stars in The Birth of a Nation, which chronicles the story of former slave Nat Turner, who led a liberation movement in 1831 to free African-Americans in Virginia.
During the Sundance Film Festival, Parker’s directorial debut won both the audience award and the coveted grand jury prize. It also picked up the biggest deal ever at the annual independent film showcase when Fox Searchlight executives won a bidding war, and purchased the rights for $17.5 million (GBP12.3 million).
The Birth of a Nation, which also stars also stars Armie Hammer, Gabrielle Union, and Aja Naomi King, will hit cinemas in the U.S. on 7 October (16).

Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
HBO

Kit Harington spent so long playing dead in the most recent season of Game of Thrones he fell asleep on set.

The Brit, who portrays Jon Snow in the fantasy series, spent the first two episodes of the season lying motionless, and admits he was so relaxed he dozed off.

“I was lying down for so many hours for two whole episodes,” he told Rolling Stone. “I fell asleep in the middle of a scene and woke up, and you know when you wake up you don’t quite know where you are? There’s nothing scarier than waking up in the middle of Game Of Thrones world – naked and everyone standing over you.”

“You go, ‘Oh my God, I’ve died and I’ve actually ended up in Westeros!'”

 

Demi Lovato is hoping to uplift fans across the U.S. by holding self-improvement events at stops throughout her upcoming tour.
The Stone Cold singer and Nick Jonas kick off the 2016 Honda Civic Tour featuring Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas: Future Now in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday (29Jun16), and the pop star has announced another event fans can look forward to – CAST on Tour.
For the project, the pop star has teamed up with her recovery manager Mike Bayer, the CEO and founder of CAST Centers, a health and wellness organisation based in West Hollywood, California.
The CAST on Tour events will be held in the 44 cities Demi and Nick will be hitting this summer (16), and are free to select Future Now ticket holders.
The exclusive gatherings are designed to help attendees find “inspiration to become their best selves”, and will feature speakers discussing topics such as wellness, body positivity, intimate relationships, spiritual awakening, and more.
Demi has been working with Mike for years, and they co-chair her Lovato Scholarship programme through CAST Recovery. The scholarship, which she launched in 2013 in honour of her late father, provides financial assistance for transitional living and clinical services for mental health and/or addiction issues.
Demi has been open with her own struggles with mental illness, self-harm, an eating disorder and drug addiction in the past, and celebrated her fourth year of sobriety earlier this year (16).

Singer Christina Grimmie’s murder earlier this month (Jun16) brought back dreadful memories for former Pantera rocker Vinnie Paul, because his brother was also shot and killed by a deranged fan.
The drummer was “floored” by the news of Grimmie’s death at the hands of obsessed fan Kevin Loibl, who gunned her down at a fan meet-and-greet in Florida on 10 June (16) and then shot himself, because the tragedy was similar to the one that cost Pantera guitarist ‘Dimebag’ Darrell Abbott his life more than a decade ago.
“I never thought it would happen again… and that’s really almost the same scenario that happened to my brother,” Paul told Texas radio station KBAT 99.9. “It’s just unbelievable that there’s still people that are that fanatical and that crazy out there in today’s world that we don’t have enough security to keep that from happening.
“It’s a dangerous world, man. You’ve gotta keep your eyes and ears peeled and be on the alert all the time.”
Two days after Grimmie’s death, the members of Pantera issued a statement calling out the live music industry for not doing more to prevent tragedies like the ones that cost the singer and Dimebag their lives.
They wrote: “After Dime’s murder, we all prayed that our industry (i.e. club owners & promoters) would do whatever they needed to do to protect artists from gun wielding fanatics. Sadly, that’s not the case and another rising star had to pay the consequences with her life. SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE!”
Dimebag was performing with Damageplan in Columbus, Ohio in December, 2004, when he was shot and killed by ex-U.S. Marine Nathan Gale.

Wiz Khalifa has taken aim at his native Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s over-zealous police officers, revealing he has often been spread-eagled against his car with a gun at his head.
The Black & Yellow hitmaker admits he has been racially profiled by cops so many times he now almost expects them to pull him over and rough him up whenever he’s driving around his home state.
“Cops there are crazy,” he tells Playboy. “I’ve never been pulled over without them having a gun to my head. Even with traffic stops, they’ll put a gun to your head and say, ‘Get the f**k out the car. What you got?’
“(They’re) searching you, breaking s**t, twisting your arm.
“They’re cool about weed, though. I got jammed up a lot in Pittsburgh, but I never did real time.”
And as if that wasn’t enough to inspire a series of rap songs, Wiz has also seen more than his fair share of death and destruction on the streets of Pittsburgh.
“It was f**ked-up and really dark,” he tells the publication about his upbringing. “(There were) a lot of shootings and gang violence. I saw people get killed. You’d get off the bus and somebody would be dead and they’d be cleaning it up. A lot of waking up in the morning and seeing people you knew dead on the news.”