It was announced this week that Steve McQueen will win the Director of the Year award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for his latest film, 12 Years a Slave.
Set in a pre-Civil War United States, 12 Years a Slave is the incredible yet devastating true story of one man’s struggle for survival and freedom.
The film follows the life of Solomon Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men, American Gangster), a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery.
Through the directorial vision of Steve McQueen, we oversee the life of Northup as he must face cruelty, fight slavery and retain dignity in order to avoid the inevitable destruction of his stolen life –introducing some well-known faces like Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and Benedict Cumberbatch along the way.
Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said: “Steve McQueen captivates his audiences by challenging them with often unorthodox and unrelenting subject matter and technique.
“McQueen is a master at utilizing the senses to create the essence of his works”.
The London-born director follows in the footsteps of Ang Lee, Sean Penn and Jason Reitman, who have all previously won the award.
Both directed and produced by McQueen himself, it’s likely that this film will go on to win multiple accolades, adding to and most likely surpassing the success of his previous works – Hunger and Shame.
McQueen’s next masterpiece (if there is one on the horizon) is yet to be revealed., but it’s fair to say that the British director has now set his standards exceedingly high – projecting high expectations from film-fanatics worldwide.