12 Years a Slave tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841 and finally freed in 1853. It stars, among others, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt and Alfre Woodard.
McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999 for his innovative and evocative film and video installations. His 2008 feature film Hunger, about Irish hunger strikers at a prison in 1981, won a prize at TIFF in 2008 as well as the Caméra d’Or prize for first-time directors at Cannes that year. In 2009, McQueen represented Britain at the Venice Biennale.
Also having its world premiere at the festival is Canadian director Atom Egoyan’s latest film, Devil’s Knot. Based on a true story as well, it examines the killing of three children in a small Arkansas town and the conviction of three teens knowns as the West Memphis Three for the murders. The movie stars Reese Witherspoon, Colin Firth and Stephen Moyer, among others.
TIFF 2013 will also host the North American premiere of Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, the story of an underground musician reuniting with a lover against the backdrop of Detroit and Tangier. It stars Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Anton Yelchin.
More announcements regarding other premieres and TIFF’s art and gallery programs are expected soon. TIFF 2013 runs from September 5 to 15 at various Toronto locations.