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Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years A Slave’ *Snuck* Into The Telluride Film Festival – Screens Today!

Steve McQueen's '12 Years A Slave' *Snuck* Into The Telluride Film Festival - Screens Today!

Well, shucks! We won’t be there for it unfortunately. We may have, if I was aware that it would be screening there, but, Telluride is one of those film festivals… it traditionally doesn’t unveil its slate until attendees are well on their way to the festival. In essence, you attend the festival blindly, not knowing before you book your trip, what films will be screened, and may not even know until you get there.


Plus this is apparently a “surprise screening,” so it wasn’t even in the main lineup in the first place.

It’s been confirmed that Steve McQueen’s highly-anticipated drama 12 Years A Slave, has been added to the Telluride Film Festival lineup as a “sneak” screening, before it heads to the Toronto International Film Festival where it was scheduled to make its World Premiere, as previously announced! 

It screens TONIGHT as a matter of fact! But, as I said, S&A won’t be there.

Fortunately, I’m scheduled to see the film in about 2 weeks, so I’ll naturally be reviewing it afterward. BUT, if any of our readers happens to be at Telluride this year, email me at, and maybe you can provide us with some early words.

The film is supposed to screen tonight, so by the end of today, I’m sure reviews will start turning up on the web, giving us some idea of what to expect. The thing is, however, Telluride isn’t exactly a festival that’s heavily attended by the black press (especially since it’s rare that there are black films screening there), so I suspect that the majority of early reviews we get won’t be from black writers.

Telluride is known for being one of those early awards season predictors. It tends to screen films that are expected to be Oscar contenders.

Fox Searchlight will release the highly-anticipated drama on October 18.

It’ll open in a limited roll-out and will then expand nationwide in successive weeks. 

The R-rated slave narrative, McQueen’s 3rd feature, boasts a rather impressive cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (as Solomon Northup, the star of the film and whose story it tells), Michael FassbenderRuth Negga, Adepero OduyeAlfre WoodardLupita Nyong’oPaul DanoBenedict CumberbatchScoot McNairyGarret DillahuntBrad PittMichael K. Williams Paul GiamattiSarah Paulson and others. 

I expect it to be an awards season favorite, especially in key roles, both in front of and behind the camera.

Again, if any of our readers happens to be at Telluride this year, email me at, and maybe you can get us an early review.

Here’s the first trailer for the film if you missed it:

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