'American Skin': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about the Nate Parker movie
The film was independently financed by Mark Burg and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Eagle Pictures and is being presented by Spike Lee
Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to writer-director-actor Nate Parker’s drama ‘American Skin’, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2019, winning the Sconfini Best Director award.
The film was independently financed by Mark Burg and Tarak Ben Ammar’s Eagle Pictures and is being presented by Spike Lee. ‘American Skin’ earned a warm critical response and a standing ovation at Venice, but its inclusion in the festival’s lineup stirred controversy. Parker was accused and acquitted of raping a woman in 2001. The scandal resurfaced four years ago after his feature debut 'The Birth of a Nation' made a splash at Sundance and was tipped as an Oscar frontrunner.
The film will be released next year in the US on Martin Luther King Day, which is January 18. Releasing the movie around then would also make it eligible for the Oscars.
The film charts how after witnessing his 14-year-old son's murder by a White police officer who goes uncharged, Marine veteran Lincoln ‘Linc’ Jefferson takes matters into his own hands in a series of events he hopes will finally lead to justice for his son.
Producer Ben Ammar told Deadline, "When I was brought Nate’s script, I knew I had to be involved as this story would spark a discussion about the state of racism not only in the US, but the whole world. Just a few months after its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, the BLM movement occurred. As a society, we need to acknowledge the truth about systemic racism and tackle the fear that drives it. We’re thrilled to have our friends at Vertical Entertainment bring this film to audiences in the US Nate Parker and his cast of talented actors will keep audiences on the edge of their seats while this story gets up close and very personal as it crescendos to its climax."
41-year-old writer-director-actor Nate Parker was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He has appeared in movies such as ‘Beyond the Lights’, ‘Red Tails’, ‘The Secret Life of Bees’, ‘The Great Debaters’, ‘Arbitrage’, ‘Non-Stop’, ‘Felon’ and ‘Pride’.
In 1999, while a sophomore at Penn State University, Parker and his roommate and wrestling teammate, Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a fellow female student.
About the movie ‘American Skin’, Parker told Deadline, “In 2014, following the death of Michael Brown, I traveled to Ferguson, Missouri, to stand against the overt domestic terrorism I saw spreading like a virus throughout our country. My hope was both to amplify calls for justice, while seeking a better understanding of the tensions between law enforcement and men and women of color. The most tragic moment of this trip arrived when I stood downtown between two infuriated groups of citizens. From one side came yells of ‘Justice for Mike Brown’ and on the other ‘Support Our Police’. It became even more clear to me, the disconnect in our collective understanding of citizenship, law enforcement, and our responsibility to preserve American Black lives. This trip and subsequent killings developed in me a fire that manifested itself into the makings of this film American Skin.”
He continued: “As an American citizen, father, brother, son and artist, I felt compelled to use my platform as a filmmaker to respond to this crisis in a way that could not only promote social equity, but initiate a global culture shift that can result in the preservation of lives. If saving one life is the only thing this film achieves, it will have served its core purpose.”
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