To support National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Fox Searchlight Pictures will be launching a Nationwide Voter Registration initiative to encourage Americans to register to vote. Fox Searchlight has aligned with theater chains and voting partners, who will hold voter enrollment in theatre lobbies on National Voter Registration Day prior to special promotional screenings of The Birth of a Nation. The initiative will continue opening weekend of The Birth of a Nation — October 7th-9th, 2016.
The acting talent from The Birth of a Nation—Nate Parker, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Aja Naomi King, and Gabrielle Union—have recorded the following PSA to raise awareness about exercising the right to vote which will be shown prior to the promotional screenings on September 27th:
Fox Searchlight has teamed up with voting organizations who have worked to staff the local theatres in each city: The League of Women Voters; Delta Rho Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.; National Coalition of Black Civic Participation and its Ohio Unity Coalition and North Carolina Black Youth Vote Network; NYC Votes; and National Voter Registration Day. The program includes the following participating theatre chains and independent theatres nationwide: Bow Tie Cinemas; Emagine Entertainment; Malco Theatres; Marcus Theatres; Wehrenberg Theatres; Amstar Cinemas; Movie Taverns; The Grand Theatres; Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Bryn Mawr, PA; Glenwood Arts Theatre, Overland Park, KS; Little Theatre, Rochester, NY; Midtown Cinema, Harrisburg, PA; Tower City Cinemas, Cleveland, OH; Cedar Lee Theatre, Cleveland Heights, OH; Cinema Arts Theatre, Fairfax, VA; Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI; The Neon, Dayton, OH.
The objective for the initiative is to encourage everyone to be a part of U.S. history by highlighting everyone’s right to vote, encouraging registration and underscoring that their voices and opinions matter. Currently, 20% of all people who can legally vote in this country are stopped by technical roadblocks when they try to register. This presidential election will be especially challenging, as many current laws lack the protection of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act was passed to overcome many legal barriers that individuals faced when exercising their right to vote but section 4 was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
Set against the antebellum South and based on a true story, ‘The Birth of a Nation’ follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher whose financially strained owner Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer) accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself, his wife Cherry (Aja Naomi King), and fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
The Birth of a Nation also stars Mark Boone Jr., Dwight Henry, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith with Penelope Ann Miller and Jackie Earle Haley, and is produced by Nate Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Preston L. Holmes.