The Venice Film Festival lineup is adding the world premiere of "American Skin," the first project from Nate Parker since controversy engulfed his directorial debut in 2016.
Parker wrote, directed, and stars in "American Skin," a drama about police violence and racism in America. It is his first feature since 2016's "Birth of a Nation." That film's release was overshadowed by resurfaced rape allegations against Parker from his college days.
Parker underwent a trial in 1999 and was acquitted of the charges, but the controversy derailed the Sundance darling's box office and awards prospects.
In "American Skin," Parker plays Marine veteran Lincoln Jefferson, who is now a school janitor and trying to mend his relationship with his son after his divorce. One day, during a routine police check, the boy is killed, but the officer is let off the hook without a trial.
Disheartened for having been denied due process, Lincoln takes an entire police station hostage, and stages a trial in which inmates act as members of the jury to finally bring justice to his son.
"American Skin" will be part of Venice's non-competitive Sconfini section. Spike Lee will be on hand to present the film with Parker and for a post-screening panel discussion.
The Venice Film Festival has never been a stranger when it comes to inviting controversial filmmakers. This year, it will screen Roman Polanski's next film in competition.