Nate Parker scores $17.5 million for Nat Turner Slave Rebellion movie at Sundance

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.42.18 PM

Somebody get Stacy Dash on the phone.

via Hollywood Reporter

Birth came to Sundance with big expectations, with many major buyers seeing it as an Oscar contender, especially given the controversy surrounding the past two years of #OscarsSoWhite hashtags. Parker, 36, quit acting for two years to realize the passion project that he wrote, produced, directed and toplined. He put in $100,000 of his own money to fly around the country to talk to anyone who might want to finance it. A dozen investor groups — which included former NBA player Michael Finley and San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker — cobbled together the film’s $10 million budget.

Just as the world-premiere Sundance Film Festival screening of The Birth of a Nation was about to end on Monday, filmmaker and star Nate Parker snuck out of the Eccles Center theater and into a side room.

“I took a couple deep breaths to just sit with my thoughts, pray a little bit,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter.

They would be the last quiet moments the actor-director would have. When he re-emerged into the theater, the frenzy began.

The Sundance audience gave the slave-rebellion drama an extended standing ovation, which was followed by mostly enthusiastic reviews. By the next morning, Fox Searchlight had plunked down a jaw-dropping $17.5 million for worldwide rights to the film, the biggest sale in the fest’s history. It also marks the largest sum ever paid for a finished movie at any festival, including Cannes, Berlin and Toronto.

For Parker, who started writing the script for the Nat Turner drama seven years ago, he knew something special was happening when he took the stage to introduce the film Monday night. In a rare Sundance moment, the audience gave him a standing ovation before a single image had played onscreen.

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 3.42.50 PM

“It was almost like confirmation: People are ready for this movement, even more so than they are for the film. They’re with you in the spirit of what you wanted to do,” says Parker, who, as he said during the post-screening Q&A, hopes the film rallies people to be “change agents” to fight injustice in their own lives.

Birth came to Sundance with big expectations, with many major buyers seeing it as an Oscar contender, especially given the controversy surrounding the past two years of #OscarsSoWhite hashtags. Parker, 36, quit acting for two years to realize the passion project that he wrote, produced, directed and toplined. He put in $100,000 of his own money to fly around the country to talk to anyone who might want to finance it. A dozen investor groups — which included former NBA player Michael Finley and San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker — cobbled together the film’s $10 million budget.

FULL STORY HERE..

Sound Off!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s