Gordon Cox | Variety
“The Birth of a Nation,” the Nate Parker film that was a buzz-magnet sensation at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, has been positioned for an awards-season release this fall from Fox Searchlight.
Written, directed by and starring Parker, “Birth of Nation” attracted Oscar hype in the immediate wake of its Jan. 25 Sundance premiere, which earned a standing ovation. The film chronicles the true story of Nat Turner, the slave who led an uprising in Virginia in 1831, with a cast led by Parker (as Nat Turner) and Armie Hammer.
At Sundance, Fox Searchlight acquired the ultrahot title for $17.5 million, the richest deal in the festival’s history. That hefty sum signaled the distributor’s awards-season intentions for the film, and now its nationwide release date, set for Oct. 7, positions the film to become an early player in the annual autumn run-up to Hollywood’s awards derby.
Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert and Preston L. Holmes produce “Birth of a Nation.” Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith and Gabrielle Union fill out the cast.