Artist Talk Steve McQueen
This year’s Film Award Cologne, donated by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW and the City of Cologne and endowed with 25,000 euros, honors British director Steve McQueen. The award is given to personalities who have made an outstanding contribution to the further development of the language of film and media through their work.
Steve McQueen is the rare case of an artist who reached the highest honors in not one but two disciplines. The London-born son of Caribbean immigrant parents first came to fame as a video artist. In 1999 he was awarded the prestigious Turner Prize for his work DEADPAN, where he recreated a scene from a Buster Keaton movie. In 2009 he represented the United Kingdom at the Venice Biennale. His feature film debut HUNGER (2008), a haunting depiction of a hunger strike among IRA members in the Northern Irish Maze Prison, won the Golden Camera in Cannes right away. His slavery drama 12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013) is the first film by a black director to have ever won the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards. And with the celebrated mini-series SMALL AXE (2020) and UPRISING (2021) he is now setting new standards for TV quality.