Nate Parker is currently the king of Sundance thanks to the acclaimed debut of his slave revolt drama, “The Birth of the Nation.” The drama, a passion project for Parker, was sold to Fox Searchlight this morning in a record-breaking $17.5 million deal, instantly turning Parker into the festival’s breakout talent as he not only directed the film, but also produced, wrote and starred in it.
“The Birth of a Nation” brutally recounts the Virginia slave revolt led by Nat Turner in 1831, but it’s not the first time Parker has taken to the director’s chair to inspire change and shine an essential light on diversity and oppression. About a year ago, Parker debuted a 15-minute short film which turns what could’ve been a simple PSA announcement into a complex and powerful statement on racism in America. The short was Vimeo’s Short of the Week back in August, and it even played the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Urban World Film Festival.
“The only thing worse than the ever-growing epidemic of murdered black youth in America, is the lack of empathy expressed by many of our country’s citizens,” Parker told the video streaming website. “In developing this project, our goal was to create a piece of media that would offer a relatable perspective to all who watched it. It is my hope this film promotes sustainable discourse and serves as a conduit for empathy, healing and change.”
Watch the stirring short film above, and head to Vimeo for more information.
READ MORE: Nate Parker’s ‘The Birth of a Nation’ Sells to Fox Searchlight in Biggest Sundance Deal Ever