Utah — Fox Searchlight Pictures won a bidding war at the Sundance Film Festival for The Birth of a Nation, paying a record-setting $17.5m for the film's worldwide distribution rights.
The studio announced the deal on Tuesday after the film premiered to a standing ovation a day earlier.
#RevolutionaryVoices @TheBirthofaNation #MoreThanaMovie #NatTurnerIsComing @sundancefest #Sundance2016 pic.twitter.com/gAU0Xly1HO— Nate Parker (@NateParker) January 22, 2016
#RevolutionaryVoices @TheBirthofaNation #MoreThanaMovie #NatTurnerIsComing @sundancefest #Sundance2016 pic.twitter.com/gAU0Xly1HO
It tells the true story of Nat Turner, a slave who taught himself to read and became a preacher before ultimately leading a deadly rebellion that wiped out 60 slave owners.
Fox Searchlight did not disclose the amount of its winning bid, reported to be $17.5m. Past high-priced titles such as 2013's The Way, Way Back and 2006's Little Miss Sunshine topped out in the $10-12m range.
Writer, director, producer and star Nate Parker spent seven years making the film he described as a passion project he hopes will serve as a "healing mechanism for America."
Fox Searchlight says it will release The Birth of a Nation later this year.
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