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The Birth of a Nation, a slave revolt film written and directed by actor Nate Parker, is already receiving rave reviews at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, but the critically acclaimed picture made history Tuesday when it grabbed a $17.5 million distribution deal from Fox Searchlight.

The Weinstein Co., Paramount, and Netflix dropped out of an overnight bidding war that ended with the historically large offer from Fox Searchlight, USA Today reports.

The film, which focuses on the slave revolt led by Nat Turner in the 1800s, received a standing ovation during a Monday night screening at Sundance.

From IndieWire:

The film, a passion project for Parker, recounts the slave revolt led by Nat Turner in 1831. In addition to starring in the lead role, Parker wrote, produced and directed the film, which also stars Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley and Mark Boone Junior. 

Fox Searchlight has notoriously paid big for buzzy Sundance titles, but the $17.5 million purchase surpasses that of even the huge $10.5 million they threw down for “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2006. With a commitment for an awards season widescreen release, Fox Searchlight is clearly hoping to carry the film to next year’s Oscars, and that doesn’t seem like too much of a risky gamble, given the stellar reviews.

Will you be tuning in when the film hits screens?

SOURCE: IndieWire, USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

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