Monday, 3 March 2014 - 12:43
Three Oscars for Amsterdammer's film
12 Years A Slave has won three Academy Awards at the Oscars this year. Amsterdam resident and man behind the Oscar-winning film, Steve McQueen, was "ecstatic" when his epic won best film, as well as best adapted screenplay and best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o. The film bested Gravity for the award. The Londoner who now lives in Amsterdam is very proud that his movie has made such an impact. "It''s the mark of development and how we see that time in history now, the background characters are now in the foreground, their history and lives are being recognized in a way more than ever before", he said. The last film about slavery to win an Oscar was Gone With The Wind, in 1940. "People are ready for this narrative, before it was quite painful, but now people want to look at that history", McQueen said. McQueen's wife, Bianca Stigter, from the Netherlands, told radio 1 Journaal "it's proper that 12 Years a Slave got an oscar, because you can count films about slavery on one hand." "He has wanted to make a film about slavery for years and especially about a free man who is forced into becoming a slave. There are few films about this topic and most people have a backwards view of slavery. A film can be so strong that people are taken along and almost feel it themselves" Stigter said. The former modern artist-turned film-maker, McQueen, thanked his wife for introducing him to Solomon Northup's story, when she showed him a copy of his book. "I did the research for the film, and stumbled upon the book 12 Years a Slave. I started reading it and was immediately hooked. It's so expressively written. I ran to Steve and said: You have to turn this into a film, it's already a scenario. He wanted to read it as well, but had to wait a bit because I wanted to finish it first", Stigter said. Steve McQueen was very happy with his win, and jumped for joy, although claiming to be "cool as a cucumber." "It's one of those moments in life that might never happen again but you're living it, you're there, and it might never happen again so emotions just take over", McQueen said. Bianca Stigter also noted a once-in-a-lifetime Hollywood moment when, after the ceremony, she was in a limousine traffic jam. "That's also fun to experience."