The Birth of a Nation paves path to Oscars glory with two big Sundance wins

Swiss Army Man, or 'the Daniel Radcliffe farting corpse film', also won a directing prize

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The Independent Culture

The Birth of a Nation is already on the path to Oscars glory next year after winning two big prizes at the Sundance Film Festival.

Nate Parker directs, produces, stars in and wrote this film about Nat Turner’s1831 slave rebellion, which earned the longest standing ovation and the biggest deal in Sundance history.

Fox Searchlight, who won Best Picture with 12 Years a Slave two years ago, bought The Birth of Nation for $17.5 million, and the movie went on to win the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award in the dramatic category on Saturday night.

The Birth of a Nation should, surely, reverse the #OscarsSoWhite trend of the past two years that has failed to see any black actors or actresses nominated.

Parker said during the film’s Q&A that he made the film “in the hope of creating change agents”:

“You can watch this film and see there are systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people. The legacy of that still lives with us.”

Elsewhere, look out for tragedy Manchester by the Sea starring Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams and newcomer Lucas Hedges. It was bought at Sundance by Amazon for $10 million, thanks to one of the best scripts co-producer Matt Damon has ever read.

Swiss Army Man, featuring Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse, won Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan the Directing Award, while Weiner won the Grand Jury Prize in the documentary category.

Sundance has built a reputation as a platform for future awards contenders, premiering Brooklyn last year and Boyhood in 2014. 

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