Steve McQueen Becomes Ambassador for Anti-Slavery International
The British film director is delighted with the film's influence
Following his modern classic, 12 Years a Slave, which portrays the true story of Soloman Northrup’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) kidnapping, subsequent slavery and escape, director Steve McQueen has been made a patron of the world's oldest human rights organisation.
12 Years a Slave - starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender - has been hailed as a modern classic
He joins the Anti-Slavery International, a committee set up in 1839 to lobby against slavery and related abuses, in an ambassadorial role.
"Right now, there are Solomon Northups in every region of the world who have been taken away from their families and placed in slavery, he said. “I hope that, 150 years from now, a film will not be made about our ambivalence to slavery. We have to do something about it."
McQueen hosted a private viewing of his Oscar-nominated film for members of parliament, using the evening to urge them to add the book - upon which the film is based - to the school curriculum.
Following the film’s warm response from critics and fans alike, McQueen has expressed his delight at the reaction.
He said he he is glad to feel "so much love" from his home country.” Speaking to the BBC, he said: "I have people in the street - builders, bus drivers - being so supportive to the movie. I've felt so much love for this film in this country and I'm so humbled and heart-warmed that it's from my own country."
Released in the U.S on November 8 and in the U.K on January 10, 12 Years A Slave gives an incredible depiction of slavery in America’s Southern Belt. Ejiofor has received numerous plaudits for his turn as Northrup, as have Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender, who play the enslaved Patsy and evil plantation owner Edwin Epps respectively.
The film will be vying for numerous awards when the Oscars are handed out on March 2.