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Nate Parker’s new film is getting such good feedback it may be able to overcome the controversy surrounding its creator. The Nat Turner biopic Birth Of A Nation got a standing ovation at the Toronto Film Festival Friday.

According to the BBC, the audience was enthralled by Parker’s film. Speaking after the film, Parker said: “I didn’t have the benefit of learning about Nat Turner when I was at school, yet I grew up 42 miles (68km) east of where the rebellion happened… So you can imagine learning about this person, in the absence of heroes, meant a lot to me.”

It’s still unclear how the controversy surrounding Parker’s 1999 rape charges will affect his film, which has gotten rave reviews on the festival circuit all year.