Tag: Mark Boone Junior

Filmmaker Nate Parker to Receive Sundance Institute’s Vanguard Award For ‘Birth Of A Nation’

The Birth of a Nation
Filmmaker Nate Parker as Nat Turner in upcoming film “The Birth of a Nation” (photo via deadline.com)

article by Erik Pedersen via deadline.com

The Birth of a Nation was the talk of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and now the nonprofit behind the annual Park City event is celebrating the pic’s director-star. The Sundance Institute said today that Nate Parker will receive its Vanguard Award.

Parker, who also wrote the screenplay, will be honored August 11 at Night Before Next, a summer celebration benefiting the Institute and its artists on the eve of Sundance Next Fest at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

The Birth of a Nation, which Fox Searchlight acquired for a festival-record $17.5M at Sundance, centers on Nat Turner (Parker), a literate, enslaved man and preacher whose financially strapped owner (Armie Hammer) accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves.  As he witnesses countless atrocities — against himself and his fellow slaves — Turner orchestrates an uprising in the hope of leading his people to freedom. The film also stars Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Penelope Ann Miller, Aunjanue Ellis, Mark Boone Junior and Aja Naomi King.

Fox Searchlight opens the films in the awards-season sweet spot of October 7.

‘Birth of a Nation’ Lands at Fox Searchlight in Record $17.5 Million Deal at Sundance Film Festival

The Birth of a Nation Sundance
Image from “Birth of a Nation” (COURTESY OF SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVA)L

Fox Searchlight, the specialty films division of 21st Century Fox,  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. 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 reviewVariety 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.

article by Brent Lang and Ramin Setoodeh via Variety.com

Chiké Okonkwo Joins Ensemble Cast Of “The Birth Of A Nation”

Chiké_OkonkwoChiké Okonkwo (Banshee, BBC’s Paradox) has been cast in Nate Parker’s The Birth of A Nation. He joins an ensemble that includes Jackie Earle Haley, Armie Hammer, Colman Domingo, Penelope Ann Miller and Mark Boone Junior in the historical drama based on the true story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner.

Okonkwo plays a brutalized slave who becomes a freedom fighter and ally to Turner (Parker) during the rebellion. Prompted by religious visions, Turner and a band of about 70 slaves killed between 55 and 65 people in Virginia. The rebellion was stopped after two days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months.

Parker is producing and directing from his own script. The film is a Bron Studios, Phantom Four, Mandalay Pictures and Tiny Giant Productions picture, in association with Follow Through Productions, Infinity Entertainment, and Creative Wealth Media Finance. Producers are Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, and Preston Holmes. Filming is underway in Savannah, GA.

article by Jeremy Gerard via deadline.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
%d bloggers like this: