09/10/2016 04:32 EDT | Updated 09/10/2016 04:34 EDT

Nate Parker's 'Birth Of A Nation' Receives Standing Ovation At TIFF

A director whose decades-old rape controversy recently resurfaced made his first public appearance at the Toronto International Film Festival Friday night, but apparently, things went off without a hitch.

Nate Parker's "The Birth of a Nation" was met with a lengthy standing ovation at the Winter Elgin Garden Theatre, E! News reported.

The movie is loosely based on the story of Nat Turner, who led a historic slave rebellion in the U.S. in 1831.

After the screening, Parker — who directed and starred in the film — took the stage to speak to the audience.

nate parker

Nate Parker speaks to the crowd following the screening of his film, 'The Birth of a Nation' at the TIFF.

"We should all look at this film in the sense that this was a person that stood against a system that was oppressing people," he said, according to BBC.

The movie's early success has generated Oscar buzz, but it's also brought up details of a past rape case against the director.

Parker and his friend Jean Celestin — who is credited as a story writer on "The Birth of a Nation" — were accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student at Penn State University in 1999.

Parker was acquitted. Celestin was initially given six months in prison, but a mistrial was declared after his appeal because the alleged victim did not want to testify again.

During the question-and-answer period after Parker's TIFF screening, there was only time for two questions, according to the Toronto Star.

The audience reportedly didn't mention the controversy at all.


Also on HuffPost

TIFF 2016 Photos