The Birth of a Nation

Release Date:  10/7/16 (In Theaters)
Genre:  Biography/Historical/Drama
Rating:  R
Studio(s):  Bron Studios, Mandalay Pictures, Phantom Four, Tiny Giant Entertainment
Running Time:  110 mins.
Director:  Nate Parker

Cast:  Nate Parker (Nat Turner), Aunjanue Ellis (Nancy Turner), Armie Hammer (Samuel Turner), Colman Domingo (Hark), Aja Naomi King, Gabrielle Union, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Junior, Penelope Ann Miller (Elizabeth Turner), Roger Guenveur Smith (Isaiah), Dwight Henry (Isaac Turner), Chiké Okonkwo.The Birth Of A Nation still

Story:  According to Shadow and Act, the official synopsis reads: Set against the antebellum South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people to freedom. Photo Source:  Shadow and Act.

Trailer:

Teaser Trailer:

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Update:  According to Deadline, on 1/26/16, in a record-breaking deal for the Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight is wrapping up a deal to pay around $17.5 million to acquire world rights for The Birth Of A Nation.  Sony Pictures and The Weinstein Company bid in the mid-eight figures for Birth Of A Nation, and Netflix went all out and bid $20 million, sources said. Aside from the high bid among traditional theatrical distributors, Fox Searchlight is the company that guided 12 Years A Slave to an Academy Award for Best Picture in 2014. Many who saw the film feel that is a realistic goal for The Birth Of A Nation.  Buyers were buzzing immediately after the premiere screening Monday (1/25/16) afternoon where Parker and his cast received a thunderous, sustained standing ovation for a movie that left attendees shaken, and some sobbing.

The Birth of a Nation won both the US dramatic audience award and the grand jury prize at the 32nd Sundance film festival awards.   Source(s):  Deadline, The Guardian.

Details:  On 5/27/15, Variety reported that Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy) will star in Nate Parker’s historical drama The Birth of a Nation, based on the story of the 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. The film was first announced in November with Armie Hammer and Parker starring, with Parker also producing and directing from his own script.

Prompted by religious visions, Turner and a band of about 70 rebel slaves killed between 55 and 65 people in Virginia — the most ever killed in a slave uprising. The rebellion was stopped after two days, but Turner survived in hiding for more than two months.

Haley will portray a slave patrol captain who takes pride in controlling the movements of the county’s slaves. Boone Jr. will play a crafty preacher. Aja Naomi King, Aunjanue Ellis, Colman Domingo, Dwight Henry, Roger Guenveur Smith and Gabrielle Union are also starring.

Variety also previously reported that the producers have opted to use the same title as the 1915 American silent drama film directed by D. W. Griffith, which covered the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. The film was controversial due to its portrayal of black men as unintelligent and the Ku Klux Klan as heroes. Source: Variety.

Nat Turner: Story of A Prophet

Prophet-The Story of Nat Turner booka/k/a The Nat Turner Story

Status:  Pre-Production
Release Date:  TBA
Genre:  Biography/Historical/Drama
Rating:  Unknown
Studio(s):  TMG Entertainment
Running Time: 120 mins.
Director:  Bill Duke

Cast:  Blair Underwood (Nat Turner), Keith David (Nathanial), Eric Roberts (Captain Hunt), Mindy Robinson (Mary Barrows), Mike Epps (Nelson), Kym Whitley (Momma Bridgette), Lester Speight (Hark), Todd Bridges (Jack Waller), LisaRaye McCoy (Esther), Kendrick Lamar (Young Nat Turner).

Details:  On 3/6/15, the Daily Film Forum reported Blair Underwood to star as Nat Turner.  Robinson Squared announces Nat Turner | Story of a Prophet, set to star Blair Underwood as Nat Turner, Lester Speight as Hark, Keith David as Nathanial Turner and Kendrick Lamar as the young Nat Turner.  Bridging generational gaps and historical divides to tell the true story of this man of God that has been perceived by many as a diabolical religious fanatic is written and produced by the award-winning filmmaker Kenya Cagle.

Cagle with his passion for filmmaking and creative literary mind has aligned forces with Bruce L. Turner, one of the descendants of the Nat Turner family to bring the amazing talents of Blair Underwood, Lester Speight, Keith David, Kendrick Lamar and a host of other Black Hollywood stars to feature in the new motion picture Nat Turner | Story of a Prophet based on the best-selling, top-rated screenplay novel written by award-winning filmmaker to highlight the facts that the textbooks seem to omit. This film is about the greatest slave insurrection in United States history and will be directed by Hollywood veteran director Bill Duke.

Nat Turner led an insurrection that changed the course of American History and African American pride. This is not only a story from historical court records and books on the subject matter, but actually features elements from oral family history that Cagle received while interviewing Turner’s descendants.  Source(s):  Daily Film Forum; IMDB.  Book Cover:  Official Facebook Page