Sundance 2016: ‘The Birth of a Nation’ breaks festival record with $17.5 million sale

January 27, 2016 - photo frame

After a initial few days of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, it seemed there would be fewer large sales than in prior years. But after an intensely well-received screening of Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation,” that garnered station ovations, Sundance has a new sales record: $17.5 million.

Fox Searchlight picked adult a chronological drama, that tells a story of Nat Turner’s worker overthrow in 1831. Netflix reportedly finished an offer as high as $20 million for a film.  

Still from Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation. Photo pleasantness of a Sundance Institute.

Still from Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation.” Photo pleasantness of a Sundance Institute. Elliot Davis

The Frame’s horde John Horn was during a screening of “The Birth of a Nation” and spoke with Oscar Garza about this year’s dermatitis Sundance film

What was it like after a screening of “The Birth of a Nation”? 

I’ve been during Sundance for some-more years than we caring to remember and I’ve never utterly been in a screening this electric outward of maybe “Little Miss Sunshine.” [“The Birth of a Nation”] was a seven-year passion plan of an actor named Nate Parker, who wrote a film, destined a film, stars in a film and constructed a film. It’s a story of Nat Turner, who was a worker in Virginia and in 1831 led a worker rebellion in that 60 white people were killed. Nat Turner was eventually hung himself. Pretty most everybody who was attending Sundance as a customer wanted it. 

Was it a warn that it would pull this most income and interest? 

The film played impossibly well… Nate Parker got on theatre after a premiere screening. He considers himself as most an romantic as a filmmaker and he said: “I finished this film for one reason usually — formulating change agents. There are still a lot of injustices in a world.” So even yet this story unfolds dual centuries ago, we consider there’s an evidence that can be finished that’s it’s applicable today, that it’s timely and topical… [It’s a] unequivocally well-made film. And a evident comparison — a apparent comparison — is to “12 Years a Slave.” That was a film that Fox Searchlight also expelled [in 2013]. That film won a best design Oscar and it grossed roughly $60 million during a domestic box office. So there is a fashion for a film like this doing good critically and commercially. The extraordinary thing, apparently, is that Fox Searchlight was not a top bidder during $17.5 million dollars. Netflix, apparently, was behest $20 million for a film. we mean, that’s only double a prior Sundance record [for “Little Miss Sunshine].” So this film clearly struck a haughtiness with a buyers. 

Still from Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation. Photo pleasantness of a Sundance Institute.

Still from Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation.” Photo pleasantness of a Sundance Institute. Elliot Davis

Why would Nate Parker have taken a reduce bid? 

Well we consider there are 4 difference that Fox Searchlight can give them: “12 Years a Slave.” And there are 4 difference they can use opposite Netflix:  “Beasts of No Nation.” Netflix expelled “Beasts of no Nation,” a film was unequivocally well-received yet didn’t make that most of an impact. we consider Searchlight can contend to Nate Parker: “Listen, we’ve finished this film before with ’12 Years a Slave,’ we won a best design Oscar, we know how to marketplace it, we know how to beget a review around a film.” And Netflix can’t unequivocally do that and they don’t have a melodramatic poke that Fox Searchlight does. 

Netflix and Amazon are large presences during a festival this year. Regarding their melodramatic releases, are audiences thinking: Well, we can watch this during home on television, because do we need to go to a theater? 

I consider that’s a legitimate doubt and we consider a streaming services like Amazon and Netflix might be in moviegoers’ minds … they assume that they can only wait until [the films] are on their inclination or on their TVs. But we consider that if you’re a filmmaker like Nate Parker … we wish your film in film theaters. And even yet Netflix and Amazon do singular melodramatic runs for their movies, Fox Searchlight is a melodramatic distributor, that’s a bread-and-butter of their business. So we consider filmmakers wish to go to where their films are going to be in theaters.  

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