October 01, 2016 - 6:40 PM
VANCOUVER - Despite recent controversy, actor, screen writer and director Nate Parker was greeted with applause when he introduced his latest film "The Birth of a Nation" at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Parker has been criticized for comments he made during an interview with "60 Minutes" journalist Anderson Cooper that is scheduled to air Sunday.
Parker told Cooper he didn't feel guilty about a night in 1999 that resulted in him being accused of rape, a case for which he was charged but not convicted by the courts.
His comments on the CBS program generated backlash from the public, with many people online saying they would boycott his new film.
Yet, Saturday evening's screening in Vancouver was sold out and Parker drew laughs and applause from the audience while thanking his supporters and production team for turning his idea for the film into a reality.
"The Birth of a Nation" tells the story of an 1831 slave rebellion in the U.S., a topic Parker says resonates today because of the racism and injustice that continues to persist in the country and around the globe.
The film to be released widely on Oct. 7 has received accolades at film festivals, including nabbing the Grand Jury Prize Audience Award at Sundance earlier this year.
Parker told 60 Minutes with regards to the court case that he was "falsely accused" and was vindicated by the courts. The woman who made the accusation killed herself in 2012.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016