Talk: Steve McQueen


IFFR 2023

Across an illustrious career, filmmaker and artist Steve McQueen has built a reputation for pushing culture forward with stories that make an impact. From short films to documentary miniseries, award-winning features and moving-image artworks for gallery and museum presentation, his work has brought to the fore and generated conversations about injustice, representation and addiction.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including KBE (Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; 2020), Johannes Vermeer Prize (2016), Harvard University, W.E.B. Du Bois Medal (2014), CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 2011), OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, 2002) and the Turner Prize from the Tate Gallery in London (1999).

McQueen has directed four feature films: Hunger (2008), Shame (2011), 12 Years a Slave (2014) and Widows (2018), as well as the series Small Axe (2020), an anthology of five films shown on BBC and Amazon. He won the Caméra d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival for Hunger in 2008 and the Oscar for Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave in 2013.

Acknowledging his impact on cinema, art and beyond, IFFR proudly commissioned Sunshine State for the festival’s 50th anniversary. The two-channel video projection opens with the image of a burning sun, a nod to Florida as the so-called sunshine state. The installation also draws on material from the 1927 musical drama, The Jazz Singer, considered the first ‘talkie’ in the history of cinema to use synchronised dialogue.

To mark the unveiling of Sunshine State at Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen, McQueen will discuss his intentions and process behind the installation in an explorative discussion at 'de Doelen' with critic and director Elvis Mitchell. The influential filmmaker will also delve into his oeuvre, in a not-to-be-missed talk with one of the pillars of contemporary cinema.


Tilly Graovac


Portrait: Steve McQueen © James Stopforth/Thomas Dane Gallery

Artwork: Sunshine State © Steve McQueen. Courtesy the artist, Thomas Dane Gallery, Marian Goodman Gallery and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan. Photo: Agostino Osio


IFFR 2023

Programme IFFR 2023

IFFR Talks

Get to the heart of cinema with this year’s IFFR Talks programme: a series of Talks in which the creative minds behind independent filmmaking from across the globe explore the art of filmmaking.

Read more about this programme