Nate Parker’s ‘American Skin’ Eligible for Oscar Nomination Following Acquisition by Vertical Entertainment

After receiving a seven-minute standing ovation from critics following its debut at the Venice Film Festival in 2019, Nate Parker’s police brutality drama “American Skin” has been acquired for release in North America by Vertical Entertainment.

The independent film distributor is also planning both a digital and theatrical release slated for January 2021. If executed, the film also would become eligible for the 2021 Oscars. 

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – OCTOBER 11: Nate Parker attends 2019 Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival at Morehouse College on October 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

“American Skin” tells the story of Lincoln Jefferson, an Iraq War vet working as a custodian, played by Parker, who sets out to get justice after his only son is killed by a white police officer. The movie covers the themes of parenthood, police brutality, and taking matters into one’s own hands. The film was written and directed by Parker, who also portrays the lead character. The cast also includes Omari Hardwick, Theo Rossie, Larry Sullivan, Shane Paul McGhie, Miluana Jackson, and Beau Knapp. The film is presented by Hollywood veteran director Spike Lee, who apparently has a producer credit.

Parker shared the two-minute trailer for the film on his Instagram page this week. “AMERICAN SKIN TRAILER The wait is over. The trailer is here. Time to change the narrative,” the actor captioned the post. He added, “Sending much love to all who made this film possible and even more love to my supporters, fans and allies. I pray this film has an impact for us, our children and their children.”

Online users responded positively to the post, including one user who wrote, “have watched this trailer 30 times When and where does it drop.”

Another person commented, “Welcome back my brother. Looks like a powerful film, will definitely support. Love! 🙌🏾🔥.”

“U know the mainstream critics are gonna hate on you & when you Google this film they have already started the hate. Don’t let them distract you. Find creative ways to promote this movie & get it out there! We love & support you Nate Parker❤️😊🙏,” a third wrote.

News of the film’s acquisition comes four years after the 41-year-old found himself emersed in a controversy around the time of the release of his previous movie, “The Birth of a Nation.” In 2016, rape allegations surfaced from the time the actor attended Penn State University in 1999. The “Beyond the Lights” star and his roommate at the time were charged with raping a female in their apartment after drinking. The actor was later acquitted in 2001. However, the damage had been done. 

“Birth of a Nation’s” performance suffered as a result of the scandal. A film that was once considered an Oscar contender only made $7 million for its entire opening weekend. 

Check out the trailer for “American Skin” down below.

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