The Turner Prize winning artist Steve McQueen’s has won the People’s Choice award for his film 12 Years a Slave, at the Toronto International Film Festival. This paves the way to a sure fire Oscar nomination which will take place on 2 March 2014. The film is an historical drama,which follows the life of a black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery. London-born McQueen previously directed the films Hunger and Shame.
The British director said it was “a fantastic honour” and that he was “deeply grateful” for the award. “At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award,” “I’d like to thank the Toronto audience who have supported my work ever since I was fortunate enough to show my first film there.” McQueen added. Past People’s Choice winners have subsequently won the Academy’s best picture prize, including Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech.
McQueen is essentially a visual artist who works with film and photography. He was awarded the OBE, and was appointed a CBE in the 2012 Queen’s New Year Honours List. He attended the Chelsea School of Art, London, 1989-90; Goldsmith’s College, London, 1990-93 & Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, New York, 1993-94. He was selected as the Official War Artist for Iraq in association with the Imperial War Museum in 2003 and participated in Documenta as well as securing several major solo exhibitions, including the Fondazione Prada and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. He was commissioned by Robert Storr to create two new films, Gravesend and Unexploded, for the Italian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007 and represented Britain at the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2009.