Nate Parker’s ‘The Birth Of A Nation’ Sells For A Record $17.5M At Sundance

Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation electrified audiences at Sundance this year, garnering rave reviews and sparking a fierce bidding war. The film tells the story of Nat Turner’s life and the slave rebellion he led in 1831 and was directed by Parker, best known for his work in Beyond The Lights,  who also stars in the film. According to Variety, the film has sold to Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million dollars — the “richest deal in Sundance history.”

The movie is a heavily-researched telling of Nat Turner’s life, offering a unique take on Turner’s life and the rebellion he led. Writing at Variety, Justin Chang said, “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.”

It has taken until 2016 for Hollywood to start making a real, actionable ruckus about the lack of representation and diversity in the film industry, and The Birth of a Nation is definitely part of that discussion. Speaking to the Root, Parker said “I made this film for one reason, with the hope of creating change agents. People can watch this film and be affected. They can watch this film and see that there are systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people, and the legacy of that still lives with us.”