McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” Will Have U.S. Debut at NYFF51

Posted by Brian Brooks on 8.30.2013

Shame filmmaker Steve McQueen's latest feature will have its U.S. premiere at the upcoming New York Film Festival. The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Film Comment magazine will host the premiere of 12 Years A Slave at the 51st edition of the festival on October 8. McQueen will take part in presenting the film with cast members Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard.

12 Years A Slave is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was abducted in Washington, D.C. in 1841 and brought to slave trader James Burch (Paul Giamatti) who sold him to a gentleman farmer named William Ford (Benedict Cumberbatch). He was then sold to a mentally unbalanced cotton grower, named Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), whose cruelty embodies the evils of slavery.

John Ridley wrote the screenplay for 12 Years A Slave from Northup's memoir. Brad Pitt, who is a producer of the film, appears as Canadian carpenter Samuel Bass in the film's final section.

"I am honored that 12 Years a Slave will be presented at the New York Film Festival in association with Film Comment," said McQueen.  "For me, this feels like a true home-coming for Solomon as he was from New York and I'm delighted that his story can be celebrated here."

Added Gavin Smith, New York Film Festival Selection Committee member and Editor-in-Chief of Film Comment magazine: "Film Comment is delighted to be able to champion 12 Years A Slave at the New York Film Festival. This is a powerful work about a subject that remains vital and I have no doubt that it’s one of the year’s most important films."

Steve McQueen's previous feature Shame had its U.S. debut at the 2011 New York Film Festival. Fox Searchlight will release 12 Years A Slave on October 18.

The full New York Film Festival Main Slate can be viewed here.

Tickets will be available starting Sunday, September 8 when tickets go on sale to the general public for the festival.

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