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Watch Nate Parker Talk Inspiration and Financing for Nat Turner Film, ‘The Birth of a Nation’

Watch Nate Parker Talk Inspiration and Financing for Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation'

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival kicks off later this month. And as it usually does leading up to the festival each year, Sundance has begun releasing its “Meet the Artist” series of videos which feature the filmmakers whose films will be premiering in competition at the festival. Below, watch Nate Parker talk about the inspiration for his film “The Birth of a Nation” as well as his struggles in trying to get the film financed, which premieres in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section.

The actor wrote, directed and also stars in the film, playing Nat Turner. 

The official synopsis reads: Set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people to freedom. 

Joining Parker in front of the camera are Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, and Mark Boone Jr.

It’s certainly a film that’s high on my list of 2016 films to see!

Still no trailer yet, but these stills (above and below) as well as Parker’s 3-minute Sundance “Meet the Artist” video below, should hold you over until then.

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Natalie Smith

I and the ancestors have awaited this brilliant artistic piece! The story is required to be told just as Anne Frank’s diary in which I respect and resonate with. BRAVO, Mr. Nate Parker!


@ Owen K. Woodard, is a Hyatt Regency the same as a Motel 6? Does a hotdog give off the same aroma as a honey roasted ham? Does chestnuts roasting on an open fire put you in the same mood as pop-tarts springing from your bread toaster? I am suggesting "12 Years A Slave" and Nate Parker’s Nat Turner film are… well… let’s see what we’re working with. Which project had a seasoned director with a critically acclaimed film in his resume? Which project has multiple Oscar nominated actors? Which project has an Oscar winning screenwriter? What’s the budgets of each project? If mood setting sound effects and music scores are important to a film’s success, are "12 years" and Nate Parker’s film standing on the same playing field? I am suggesting that "12 Years" and "Nat Turner" share a common theme, however, to suggest they would or should receive "well deserved" accolades as 12 Years A Slave, is… well… it’s not a stupid question but maybe an extreme act of shortsightedness? Don’t get me wrong, I am not taking anything away from Nate Parker but his wagon is not as full as Steve McQueen’s.


@ Fleece Johnson, there’s another story inside your comment: What price thou pay for freedom? Hmmmmm… that brings up the question, have you, Fleece, heard of The Army Of Northern Virginia? Well, that major military unit (100,000 men) participated in The Battle Of Gettysburg. Do you know how many casualties/loses there were in that 3 day battle? Well, to put it in a perspective that you can wrap your arms around, think about all the soldiers who died during the years of the Vietnam conflict… nearly FIFTY THOUSAND!. Fleece, I want you to understand the evils of which were precipatated by slavery. For instance, do you know how many innocent lives (babies, women and children) were lost during The Middle Passage? Maybe millions? So Fleece I am suggesting that there’s a multitude of stories concerning slavery. Each individual will stand guard at their own gate of knowledge, discerning who and what they’ll let in and that in-which they’ll block out.

Fleece Johnson

Nat Turner and his goons were murderers. They killed women and children. One of them even slammed an infant against the brick hearth above a fireplace in one of the homes that they targeted, killing it instantly. Nat Turner’s story is a sad one and slavery is a terrible thing but I really hope this film is not an attempt at glorifying the acts of those who followed him. I grew up in Courtland, formerly known as Jerusalem, VA, where the rebellion took place and I can promise you that the only birth that happened in the wake of Turner’s rebellion was that of a retaliatory campaign against slaves that claimed the lives of almost three times as many innocent people.

Owen K Woodard

Stupid question. I wonder if this film will receive well deserved accolades as 12 Years A Slave?

Albert S.

Kudos to Nate Parker for bringing a very important historical figure to the big screen.
Our ancestors are some of the greatest heroes of mankind.
The very fact that we continue to tread forward despite the inequities and malice speaks volumes to the unique perseverance befitting the citizens of the African diaspora.
GOD bless Nate Parker and everyone striving for dignity and resonance in 2016!


Did nate not have enough in the budget for color correction?

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