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Nate Parker‘s name has been on everyone’s lips ever since his film The Birth of a Nation took Sundance by storm last year.

The director caught up with us on the BET Awards red carpet to dish on the highly anticipated film and why it’s not a traditional movie about African-Americans.

On his excitement for the film’s release:

“I’m very excited. More excited about what I think it can do for our people and its potential to change behaviors around the value of our lives and history of our country. We’ll see what happens. You make the movie, you walk away.”

On people’s reaction to “another slave movie”:

“First, my film isn’t about slaves, it’s about freedom and I think it’s important to make that distinction. I wrote it in the vein of Braveheart, so that our kids can have heroes. I think that if they made 50 [slave] movies this year, it wouldn’t be enough, because our narrative is not our own. My job and the artist’s job is to reflect the times and reclaim the narrative and we’ve done that with this film.”

It was announced on Tuesday that Nate Parker will be presented with Sundance’s Vanguard Award.

Check out the full interview above.

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 

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