8 items from 2016
Follow all of our Sundance 2016 coverage. The greatest accomplishment of Nate Parker‘s The Birth of a Nation might be reclaiming that title from the important and influential but irredeemably racist Birth of a Nation released 101 years earlier. That film said blacks and whites could never be integrated and that the Kkk saved the South. The new one tells the true story of Nat Turner’s 1831 slave rebellion, bringing a long-remembered but little-discussed American hero into the limelight with shocking urgency. Parker, an actor with minimal experience behind the camera, wrote and directed the film and stars as the grown-up version of Nat Turner. But when we first meet Nat, he’s a relatively carefree 9-year-old who plays hide-and-seek with his master’s boy, Samuel, and is invited by the master’s wife (Penelope Ann Miller) to learn to read. Mrs. Turner, a God-fearing Christian sincere in her beliefs, feel that if the good Lord has blessed »
- Eric D. Snider
Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners 2016 – The Birth Of A Nation
Well, Sundance has finally drawn to a close for another year and last night, the Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners were announced in Park City, Utah.
We’ve listed the Sundance Film Festival Awards Winners below, including an official synopsis supplied by the organisers, but the clear winner and toast of the festival this year was Nate Parker’s The Birth Of A Nation, the film that was picked up for a record-breaking $17.5 million earlier on this week. ‘Birth Of A Nation’ scored The U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award.
Elsewhere, Asif Kapadia presented the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Documentary to Sonita, a film about an 18-year-old who discovers that her family plans to sell her to an unknown husband for $9,000. The film also picked up Audience Award: World Cinema Documentary. The Audience Award: U.S. »
- Paul Heath
As is so often the case with each passing year, 2016’s Sundance Film Festival ignited a flurry of activity among studios and filmmakers alike, with a number of the major players moving in to acquire the hottest properties in town. And while the likes of Casey Affleck’s Manchester By The Sea and the Ellen Page-starring Tallulah pocketed distribution deals of their own, it was Nate Parker’s boisterous The Birth of a Nation that stole the headlines after securing a lucrative deal with Fox Searchlight to the tune of $17.5 million. That’s the biggest sale in Sundance history, and it didn’t even go to the highest bidder.
Hot on the heels of receiving a standing ovation at the film festival, it’s understood that The Weinstein Company and Netflix had both expressed interest in the feature film – the latter reportedly tabled a $20 million offer – though Parker is »
- Michael Briers
Recently, I've found myself having to discuss some very difficult moments from history with my oldest son because I am deeply frustrated by the history he's being taught in school. It's the same history I was taught, whitewashed and sanitized and, unfortunately, not true. It's hard to explain to him that he has to regurgitate the bullshit version of things in order to pass his tests, and he's getting angry about the vast differences between what he's taught and what actually happened. When I emerged from today's screening of Nate Parker's exceptional The Birth Of A Nation today at Sundance, I overheard an exasperated "How many movies do they have to make about slavery?", and it almost stopped me in my tracks. It's not my job to get into an angry argument with anyone about a movie, but that sentiment almost did it. The correct answer to that question »
- Drew McWeeny
Nate Parker's "The Birth of a Nation" sent shockwaves through the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last night: After premiering to prolonged standing ovations and plenty of critical acclaim, the slave revolt drama set off the fiercest bidding war Sundance has ever seen, as big distributors like The Weinstein Company and Netflix threw their hats in the ring to acquire the fest's buzziest title. As first reported by Deadline, Fox Searchlight has come out on top, landing the drama in a record-breaking $17.5 million deal, the biggest purchase in Sundance history. The film, a passion project for Parker, recounts the slave revolt led by Nat Turner in 1831. In addition to starring in the lead role, Parker wrote, produced and directed the film, which also stars Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Junior. Fox Searchlight has notoriously paid big for buzzy Sundance titles, but the $17.5 million purchase surpasses »
- Zack Sharf
Fox Searchlight has closed a massive $17.5 million deal to acquire worldwide rights to "The Birth of a Nation" following its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival where the film received multiple standing ovations.
The deal is the richest in Sundance history and Searchlight beat out numerous other contenders including The Weinstein Company, Netflix, and Sony for the picture in a heated night-long bidding battle.
Netflix reportedly offered in the realm of $20 million for the drama about the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner (Nate Parker). Parker, who also starred in "The Great Debaters" and "Beyond the Lights," not only plays the lead but also penned and directed the project in which he invested his own money.
Source: Variety »
- Garth Franklin
Updated: Fox Searchlight is closing a $17.5 million deal to acquire worldwide rights to “The Birth of a Nation,” a drama about the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, that had an electrifying premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The Weinstein Company, Netflix, Paramount, and Sony were among the companies making offers on the picture, Variety has learned. Bidding lasted through the night, with one company, believed to be Netflix, offering $20 million for the picture. The deal is the richest in Sundance history.
The film was written and directed by Nate Parker, who also stars as Turner and invested his own money in the production. Parker is best known for his work in “The Great Debaters” and “Beyond the Lights.” The response to the picture was seismic and the Oscar buzz erupted as soon as the lights went up following the picture’s debut at the Eccles Theatre.
In a rave review, »
- Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh
It speaks to his ambition that the writer, director, producer and actor Nate Parker chose to title his slavery drama “The Birth of a Nation,” though the film would be a significant achievement by any name. Arriving more than a century after D.W. Griffith’s epic lit up the screen with racist images forever destined to rankle and provoke, this powerfully confrontational account of Nat Turner’s life and the slave rebellion he led in 1831 seeks to purify and reclaim a motion-picture medium that has only just begun to treat America’s “peculiar institution” with anything like the honesty it deserves. If “12 Years a Slave” felt like a breakthrough on that score, then Parker’s more conventionally told but still searingly impressive debut feature pushes the conversation further still: A biographical drama steeped equally in grace and horror, it builds to a brutal finale that will stir deep emotion and inevitable unease. »
- Justin Chang
8 items from 2016
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