Exclusive Red-Carpet Portrait: Director Steve McQueen at 52nd Chicago International Film Festival

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CHICAGO – He may share a name with a notable movie star, but director Steve McQueen has made his own mark in cinema in a very short time. After his debut with “Hunger” (2008), he followed with the shocking “Shame” (2011). As producer, he won the Academy Award for Best Picture for “12 Years a Slave” (2013), a film he also directed.

Steve McQueen on the Red Carpet at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

McQueen was born in London, and later studied art at the Chelsea College of Arts and Goldsmith College, and briefly studied at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. His first major short film was “Bear” (1993), and followed up with several avant-garde shorts through 2009. His first feature, “Hunger” was released in 2008, and his Best Picture triumph came five years later with “12 Years a Slave.” McQueen was honored at the 52nd Chicago International Film Festival on October 22nd, 2016, at the 20th Anniversary of their Black Perspectives series. HollywoodChicago.com asked him a couple of questions on the Red Carpet.

HollywoodChicago.com: After you immersed yourself in all of the elements of ’12 Years a Slave,’ did it make you more sensitive to those problems that still exist in race relations today?

Steve McQueen: I don’t know how we can’t be sensitive to them all the time. It’s not a situation as a moment in time, it’s a situation that is constant. There is evidence around us as we speak, and it remains a constant in the air we breathe.

HollywoodChicago.com: Martin Scorsese once said that filmmaking was the ‘fever dreams of psychopaths.’ What part of your madness is characteristic of your cinematic art?

McQueen: I’m looking for truth, if that can be characterized as madness. In these days, there is a lot of madness in truth. I’m after that, can the screen be a mirror to the audience in the theater. Will they see themselves? That is my goal, to express the truth, maybe a truth that we don’t want to see.

The “Best of the Fest” continues through Thursday, October 27th, 2016. Click here for details. The 52nd Chicago International Film Festival has its final night on October 27th, 2016. Click here for film schedules, information and to purchase tickets.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2016 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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