12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen to be awarded BFI Fellowship

Director and artist Steve McQueen is set to receive the British Film Institute's (BFI) highest accolade.

The 12 Years A Slave director said he was "humbly honoured" to receive a BFI Fellowship, joining a select group of industry stars including Vanessa Redgrave, Al Pacino, Alec Guinness, Martin Scorsese and Ken Loach.

Steve McQueen
Steve McQueen (Amanda Benson/BBC)

He will become the youngest director ever to receive the accolade when it is presented to him at the BFI London Film Festival's awards ceremony on October 15 shortly after his 47th birthday.

McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999 and has since directed films including Hunger (2008), Shame (2011) and Oscar-winning period film 12 Years A Slave (2013), which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lupita Nyong'o.

12 Years A Slave won an Oscar
12 Years A Slave won an Oscar (John Shearer/AP)

He said: "I first walked into the BFI library and cinema 28 years ago.

"To think that I will now be a Fellow and honorary member, with such a distinguished list of people, is mind-blowing. I'm humbly honoured."

BFI chair Josh Berger said: "As winner of both the Turner Prize and an Academy Award, Steve is pre-eminent in the world of film and the moving image.

Steve McQueen at the Baftas
Steve McQueen at the Baftas (Joel Ryan/AP)

"He is one of the most influential and important British artists of the past 25 years and his work, both short and long-form, has consistently explored the endurance of humanity - even when it is confronted by inhumane cruelty - with a poetry and visual style that he has made his own.

"We are thrilled that Steve is to become a BFI Fellow."

Fellowships were first awarded by the BFI in 1983. Other names announced so far this year are broadcaster Greg Dyke and actor Hugh Grant.

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