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Steve McQueen’s highly anticipated 12 Years A Slave will have its U.S. debut at the New York Film Festival in October.
The Film Society of Lincoln center and Film Comment are hosting the screening, which is scheduled for Oct. 8. McQueen, whose previous films are the acclaimed Hunger and Shame, will be on hand to present his film, along with stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Paul Dano and Alfre Woodard.
12 Years A Slave tells the story of Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free black man who was abducted in 1841 and sold into slavery. The film follows his 12 years as a slave as he passes from owner to owner, eventually landing with cotton grower Edwin Epps (Fassbender), who embodies evil.
The rest of the cast includes Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Quvenzhané Wallis.
The film is being distributed by Fox Searchlight, which will begin the film’s limited release on Oct. 18.
McQueen said in a statement that he is “honored” that the film will be screened at the festival. “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,” he added.
Gavin Smith, New York Film Festival Selection Committee member, said that the film 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 film.”