Sundance: Festival Hit ‘Birth of Nation’ Lands Big Offers
“The Birth of a Nation,” a drama about the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner, is inspiring fierce bidding following its electrifying premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The Weinstein Company, Netflix, and Fox Searchlight are among the companies making offers on the picture, Variety has learned. Sony is also believed to be interested. Bids for worldwide rights have exceeded $15 million, according to knowledgable individuals. That would make it the biggest sale of this year’s Sundance. Bidding is likely to continue through the night.
The film was written and directed by Nate Parker, who also stars in the film 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, Variety critic Justin Chang wrote, “‘The Birth of a Nation’ exists to provoke a serious debate about the necessity and limitations of empathy, the morality of retaliatory violence, and the ongoing black struggle for justice and equality in this country. It earns that debate and then some.”
The cast includes Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Junior. WME is handling sales of the film.