English film director, producer, screenwriter, and video artist Steve McQueen was born in London and studied arts. He filmed the true story Twelve Years a Slave (1853), the diary of the
African-American Solomon Northup, a free man. He lived in Saratoga, New York, with wife and children, but was kidnapped and sold as a slave to work on plantations in Louisiana. Nobody listened to
him when tried to tell he was a free man. Twelve years he had to suffer the terrors of slavery, until he was liberated in 1853. The film won the Academy Award for Best Film, becoming the
first Best Picture winner to have a black director or producer. Already having been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2002, he was created Commander of the Order of
the British Empire (CBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to the visual arts.
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