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12 Years A Slave director and actress land Hollywood gongs

HONOURED: British filmmaker Steve McQueen with 12 Years A Slave actress, Lupita Nyong’o

BRITISH DIRECTOR Steve McQueen and Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o will be awarded at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards later this month.

The 43-year-old director, whose critically-acclamied film 12 Years A Slave premieres in the UK this month, is to receive the 'Hollywood Breakout Director' award at the October 21 event.

McQueen has received similar praise for a number of previous projects. His 2008 flick Hunger, a drama about an IRA hunger strike won the Camera d’or at the Cannes Film Festival and 2011's Shame, which centres around a sex addict, also won several prizes at the Venice Film Festival.

Kenyan raised Nyong’o, 30, will receive the 'New Hollywood' award. Nyong’o is best known for her role in award-winning Kenyan soap opera Shuga and more recently in McQueen's 12 Years A Slave.

After her graduation, she competed against 1,000 young actresses to secure her role in the hit film, which also stars British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor.

On selecting Nyong’o for the role of Patsey, a slave who receives unkind attention from her master and his wife, McQueen said: "It was like finding [Gone With The Wind protagonist] Scarlett O'Hara".

12 Years A Slave is based on a true story of a free black man who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century in America. Other cast members include Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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