LONDON — The European Film Academy is to honor “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen with its award for European achievement in world cinema at its awards ceremony on Dec. 13 in Riga, Latvia.
McQueen started out as a video artist making short films, almost exclusively silent and black-and-white. These included the “Bear” (1993), which depicts a brief and unusual encounter between two naked men; the 1997 “Deadpan,” in which a man stands in the middle of a building as it repeatedly collapses around him; and “Drumroll” (1998), for which McQueen fixed cameras to a barrel and rolled the barrel through the streets of Manhattan.
In 2008, McQueen nabbed international recognition with “Hunger,” his debut feature. Starring Michael Fassbender, it dramatizes the last months in the life of IRA activist Bobby Sands in Belfast’s Maze Prison. The film won the Golden Camera and Fipresci Award in Cannes and more than 40 awards worldwide, among them a BAFTA and the EFA’s European Discovery of the Year.
His second feature, “Shame,” again with Fassbender in the lead, examined the nature of need. The film won the Young Cinema Award, Fipresci Prize and Volpi Cup for Fassbender in Venice 2011, and more than 40 international awards, among them two European Film Awards, for cinematography and editing.
His third feature, “12 Years a Slave” was released in 48 countries and won more than 200 awards, among them an Oscar for best motion picture, and a BAFTA.