Fox Searchlight to Register Voters at Movie Theaters Before ‘Birth of a Nation’ Screenings

Daniel Nussbaum, Breitbart, September 26, 2016

The initiative kicks off on National Voter Registration Day, September 27, and continues through October 9. Fox Searchlight opens the film nationwide on October 7.

The production company has partnered with organizations including the League of Women Voters, the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, the North Carolina Black Youth Vote Network and NYC Votes on the campaign.

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Birth of a Nation stars Nate Parker, Gabrielle Union, Colman Domingo and others released a short video that will air ahead of screenings of the film on Tuesday during its promotional run.

Birth of a Nation–acquired by Fox Searchlight for a record $17.5 million at Sundance in February–centers on the bloody and ultimately unsuccessful 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in the antebellum South.

The film became the early favorite to win Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards before the film became a lightning rod of controversy with the re-emergence of a 17-year-old rape case against its writer, director and star, Nate Parker.

Parker was ultimately acquitted of all charges in the 1999 case, but its re-emergence so close to the film’s release date led to some cancelled screenings and uncomfortable questions from entertainment reporters at film festivals.

Fox Searchlight was forced to alter the film’s promotional campaign, which included limiting Parker’s exposure to the media.

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