Arriving in theaters this Friday is one of finest films of the year,  Steve McQueen‘s 12 Years a Slave. The drama follows the harrowing, true journey of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who was a free man sold into slavery in 1841. In our review we said the director has “brought America’s most shameful period to the screen with a fury and authenticity the likes of which audiences have never seen.”

Gearing up for the theatrical bow, we’ve got a few new materials from the film, including a featurette that highlights Ejiofor’s powerful central performance, as well as a batch of new stills from IMDb. A great deal more substantial, however, is two 20-minute discussions from NYFF. Making a stop there recently, the well-spoken McQueen took the stage after a press screening, where he talks about Michael Fassbender‘s career, the influence of slavery in his life and much more. Following that, McQueen and much of the entire cast took the stage after a public screening, where Ejiofor’s preparation, filming the toughest scenes and more are discussed. Check out everything below.

12 Years a Slave opens on Friday, October 18th and expands wide on November 1st.

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