Actor, writer and director Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation will be widely released on Oct. 7.
Atlanta Black Star reported that Fox Searchlight, the same company that brought 2013’s 12 Years A Slave, purchased The Birth of a Nation in a $17.5 million deal. According to Variety, it’s the biggest deal in Sundance history to date.
Fox Searchlight has made big deals before. In 2013, the distributor purchased the film The Way, Way Back for $9.75 million, which was regarded as the richest deal at that time, reports Variety.
The film will be released during what is typically called “Oscar season.” The film will undoubtedly fill the void brought to attention by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
Parker has been committed to the project for over two years. He has said in previous interviews that financing the film was an arduous process and that he had to take off from acting to do it.
“I knew when I started research on this film that it wasn’t a film designed for commerce — it was designed to have an impact. Before the premiere, I did a lot of praying. I spent a lot of time alone,” Parker said in a Los Angles Times interview.
The Birth of a Nation includes Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Jr., Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomi King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith and Gabrielle Union.
The film will depict the origins of an enslaved man, Nat Turner, who staged a slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831.
Searchlight will open the film nationwide, versus a platform/limited release of fewer than 1,000 screens.