If there's one film you probably heard the most about coming out of the Sundance Film Festival, it was Nate Parker's sure-to-be controversial, The Birth of a Nation. The film, which Parker took two years off to write, direct, and star in, tells the story of Nat Turner, who would lead the infamous 1831 slave rebellion that killed dozens of whites in antebellum Virginia. Fox Searchlight bought the rights for a record-breaking $17.5M with immediate plans to put it in the Oscar race, and now it has a release date that will do just that.
The Birth of a Nation has been set to drop on October 7th 2016, meaning it would go toe-to-toe with Fox's Gambit film starring Channing Tatum (I expect that one to move), The Accountant with Ben Affleck and Anna Kendrick, and the adaptation of best-seller The Girl On the Train starring Emily Blunt.
What's interesting is how The Birth of a Nation will play in the current #OscarsSoWhite Hollywood landscape. It's going to cause some waves, that's for sure, as Parker is essentially trying to make a hero out of a man many see as simply a murderer. But that's an issue Parker addressed in the interview me and Tim Gordon conducted with him in Park City, and he's got a ready answer for anyone who wants to challenge him. Check out that interview below, and my review of the film here.