If you've been living under a rock for the last 24 hours, yesterday marked an unparalleled day for the Sundance Film Festival as The Birth Of A Nation was acquired by FOX Searchlight in a record-breaking purchase of $17.5 million. The Birth of a Nation is an epic historical biopic about Nat Turner who lead the first slave rebellion in 1831. This passion project was seven years in the making and the first feature for Nate Parker who wrote, directed, produced AND starred in the film.
We want to congratulate two of our Stage 32 Execs who work for the production companies that produced this historical film - Garrick Dion VP of Development for Bron Studios, and Patrick Raymond, Creative Executive for Mandalay Films. (To see a recent interview with Patrick Raymond on RB's monthly webcast, On Stage With RB, click here and start at the 29:19 mark).
There was something special in the air when the film screened on Monday during Sundance. The audience wept openly and gave the filmmakers multiple standing ovations. Shortly after, you could feel the electricity when the phones of Lionsgate, Warner Bros., The Weinstein Company, Parmount and Netflix started lighting up to put a bid on the film. Ultimately, The Birth Of A Nation found it's home at FOX Searchlight.
The film was made in record time - 27 days - for a budget of just under $10 million from a first time writer/director/producer/actor. We're interested to hear from you, the Stage 32 community, on your thoughts about this record-breaking independent biopic...sound off in the comments section below!
photo credit: Elliot Davis for the Sundance Institute
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