‘The Birth of A Nation’ Takes Home Top Two Sundance Awards


The Birth of A Nation dominated the Sundance Film Festival awards announced Saturday night, grabbing the top two prizes. 

Both the U.S. Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for drama went to the powerful story built around a slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in 1831.

Birth had notable timing, arriving in the midst of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, and at the slavery drama’s Sundance debut, audiences rose in a rare pre-screening standing ovation, followed by another at the film’s conclusion.

“I made this film for one reason — in the hope of creating change agents,” said writer/director/star Nate Parker during the film’s Q&A. “You can watch this film and see there are systems that were in place that were corrupt and corrupted people. And the legacy of that still lives with us.”

Birth made headlines when it was purchased for $17.5 million by Fox Searchlight, a festival record.

This year, celebrity jurors included Jon Hamm, Lena Dunham and Keegan-Michael Key.

Other top winners announced Saturday night in Park City, Utah:

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Source: USA Today | Andrea Mandell