*Fox Searchlight has announced that there will be a press conference for “The Birth of a Nation” at the Toronto Film Festival, and that director-star Nate Parker, who has found himself at the center of controversy because of a rape case he was involved in 17 years ago, will attend.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Parker will join cast members Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Gabrielle Union and Penelope Anne Miller in a press video junket on Sept. 10, and a press conference on Sept. 11.
Via The Hollywood Reporter:
Traditionally, films that have already had world premieres elsewhere (as Birth did at Sundance in January) don’t host press conferences at TIFF. It remains to be seen whether Parker will introduce the film at its screening or sit for a post-premiere Q&A as many filmmakers do at TIFF, and there’s also the question of how much other press (including video lounges hosted by many outlets) he’ll do at the festival.
Parker, who directed, produced, wrote and starred in the Nat Turner drama, has been at the center of a media firestorm for the past two weeks after speaking in interviews about a rape accusation against him and his “Birth of a Nation” co-writer, Jean Celestin, while there were attending Penn State. Parker was eventually acquitted of the charges while Celestin was found guilty, but it was overturned on appeal.
The American Film Institute Conservatory canceled a planned screening of the film that would have included a Q&A with Parker.
Parker did however make an appearance at a screening at the Merge Summit on Saturday.