"This is a forum for the film, this is a forum for the other
people that are sitting on this stage. It's not mine, I don't
own it, it's not on me," said Parker, who was joined by the cast
of his film at a news conference at the festival.
"I definitely don't want to hijack this with my personal life. I
do want to make sure that we are honoring this film."
It is the second time in two days that Parker has deflected
questions about his 2001 trial and acquittal on rape charges
that have dominated conversation around the film in recent
During a TV interview with Reuters on Saturday, Parker was asked
about why he felt it was important to have addressed the rape
case while discussing the film in interviews last month. His
response took the conversation back to the film about slave
preacher Nat Turner.
"The Birth of a Nation," based on the true events of Turner
leading a rebellion for slave liberation in Virginia in 1831,
wowed audiences at the Sundance Film Festival in January and was
seen as a strong 2017 Oscar contender.
But the controversy over the rape case has the potential to
affect the film's marketing and jeopardize its awards season
Fox Searchlight, the studio that bought the film for a Sundance
record of $17.5 million, is a savvy awards season campaigner
with a few recent best picture Oscars to its name.
The film, out in U.S. theaters on Oct. 7, was screened in
Toronto on Friday night at a red carpet premiere, where no video
cameras were allowed and security was tight.
The event went off without problems and Parker received a
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bill Trott)
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