The most-nominated film of the year, 12 Years a Slave has already garnered over 20 major nominations from groups including The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Nominated for 7 Golden Globes including Best Picture), Screen Actors Guild (Nominated for 4 SAG Awards including Best Ensemble), FILM Independent (Nominated for 7 Spirit Awards including Best Feature), and has earned numerous Critics Groups accolades including Best Picture from Washington DC Area Film Critics and New York Film Critics Online. After winning the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival, 12 Years a Slave opened domestically on October 18 and has grossed over $35 million, making it the most successful English-language specialty platform release of the year.
Here's what Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley had to say in a statement.
12 Years a Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man's fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon's chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.
The film is directed by Steve McQueen (Hunger) and written by John Ridley (Red Tails). Producers are Brad Pitt (Moneyball), Dede Gardner (Eat, Pray, Love), Jeremy Kleiner (World War Z), Bill Pohlad (The Tree of Life), Steve McQueen (Shame), Arnon Milchan (L.A. Confidential) and Anthony Katagas (Killing Them Softly); executive producers are Tessa Ross (Slumdog Millionaire) and John Ridley. The filmmaking team includes director of photography Sean Bobbitt, BSC (Hunger; Shame); production designer Adam Stockhausen (Moonrise Kingdom); editor Joe Walker (Hunger; Shame); Academy Award nominated costume designer Patricia Norris (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Academy Award winning composer Hans Zimmer (Driving Miss Daisy).
12 Years a Slave was released October 18th, 2013 and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Paul Dano, Sarah Paulson, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Quvenzhané Wallis. The film is directed by Steve McQueen.