Sir Steve Rodney McQueen is a British film director, screenwriter, film producer, television writer, television producer, and television director. He is known for his award-winning film 12 Years a Slave (2013), an adaptation of Solomon Northup's 1853 slave narrative memoir. He also directed and co-wrote Hunger (2008), a historical drama about the 1981 Irish hunger strike, Shame (2011), a drama about an executive struggling with sex addiction, and Widows (2018), an adaptation of the British television series of the same name set in contemporary Chicago. In 2020, he released Small Axe, a collection of five films "set within London's West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early '80s".
For his artwork, McQueen has received the Turner Prize, the highest award given to a British visual artist. In 2006, he produced Queen and Country, which commemorates the deaths of British soldiers in Iraq by presenting their portraits as a sheet of stamps. For services to the visual arts, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011. For 12 Years a Slave, he won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA Award for Best Film, the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture - Drama, and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Director. McQueen is the first black filmmaker to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
In 2014, Time magazine included McQueen in its annual Time 100 list of the "most influential people in the world". In 2016, he was granted the British Film Institute's highest honour, the BFI Fellowship. McQueen was knighted in the 2020 New Year Honours, for services to film. In the same year, McQueen was awarded the Award for Cinematic Production by the Royal Photographic Society and is to receive Cologne Film Prize in honor of his life's work this year.