Fox Searchlight acquires Sundance hit Birth of a Nation

2016-01-27 20:00

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.

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.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.