Caribbean 360 is reporting that London born director Steve McQueen, 47, who is of Grenadian-Trinidadian descent, has made history by receiving the British Film Institute’s (BFI) highest honor. The director of Shame (2011) and 2013’s 12 Years a Slave which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama and BAFTA award for Best Motion Picture, has been named a BFI fellow. McQueen, who was nominated for best director for both films by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Golden Globes and BAFTA, won directing awards from the NAACP Image Awards, African-American Film Critics Association Awards, Black Reel Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle, among many. He is the first black person to direct a film that won the Best Picture Oscar.
McQueen’s 2008 film Hunger, for which he won a BAFTA award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer, is the film that put him on the map as a major film director. McQueen directed and co-wrote with Enda Walsh, the film about the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike, starring Michael Fassbender.
As reported by Caribbean 360, the Turner Prize winner stated the following at the BFI awards ceremony:
“There are only two things I really know. One of them is that I’m black and the other one is that I’m a Londoner. Everything else I don’t know. But I know I’ve had the possibility of exploring and of being reckless and of experimenting because I didn’t pay to go to university.
“I had the freedom to experiment and it seems to me that is being slowly eradicated. It is our job in this room to keep these doors open for people who don’t have all those chances.”
Read more at Caribbean 360.
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.