Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation Sweeps Top Two Prizes at Sundance
Nate Parker is, officially now, your king of Sundance, 2016.
The festival's a wrap, and this past Saturday night, the awards for feature filmmaking were given, including the two biggest, The Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. As was evident from the standing ovation writer, director, producer and star Parker received before his The Birth of a Nation even played, he and his film were the odds on favorites to be the big winners once the festival ended—the jury didn't disappoint. The Birth of a Nation won both the Grand Jury and Audience Awards. Parker's passionate epic about Nat Turner's slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831 was the product of 7 years of work, including two years taken off his own acting schedule and $100,000 of his own money. It must feel great for Parker to see the fruits of his labor awarded as such, taking the two big honors much as Damien Chazelle's Whiplash did here in 2014, a film that went to an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
Parker was awarded the tops honors from a field of 123 films, and from a jury of Simon Kilmurry, Jill Lepore, Shola Lynch, Louie Psihoyos, Amy Ziering, Mark Adams, Lena Dunham, Jon Hamm, Avy Kaufman, Franklin Leonard, Randall Poster, Fernanda Solórzano, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Mila Aung-Thwin, Tine Fischer and Asif Kapadia.
You can watch the award ceremony, hosted by director Taika Waitit, below. You can check out the full list of award winners here.