Nate Parker Earns CinemaCon’s Breakthrough Director Award

Nate Parker in The Birth of a Nation
Nate Parker in ‘The Birth of a Nation’ (Photo by Elliot Davis)

The 5,000+ motion picture professionals who’ll be attending this year’s CinemaCon will be honoring writer, director, actor, and producer Nate Parker with the 2016 Breakthrough Director of the Year Award. Parker is earning rave reviews for his directorial debut, The Birth of a Nation, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The Birth of a Nation picked up two awards at the festival, with Vanity Fair’s Richard Lawson saying “Parker generously calls to all with his rallying cry of a film, a weighty invocation of past bravery that charges its audience with the essential, nation-defining mission of fighting for a better and more just future.”

CinemaCon is the National Association of Theatre Owners annual convention and this year’s gathering will take place April 11-14 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The awards ceremony will take place on the final night of the event at The Colosseum in Caesars Palace. “Following its Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2016 Sundance film festival, Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation will surely bring movie-going audiences to their feet when it is released October 7th,” stated Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon. “A pure labor of love and a film that shows the true passion necessary to craft it, we are honored to present such an outstanding filmmaker with this year’s CinemaCon Breakthrough Director of the Year Award.”

Fox Searchlight is targeting an awards season release date of October 7, 2016.

The Birth of a Nation Plot: Set against the antebellum South, the film follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.