Steve McQueen to be named Palm Springs fest's director of the year

British filmmaker Steve McQueen will receive the Director of the Year Award at the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala.

McQueen, 44, who is considered one of the front-runners for an Oscar nomination for his acclaimed historical drama "12 Years a Slave," will receive the honor at a ceremony on Jan. 4 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

"Director Steve McQueen captivates his audiences by challenging them with often unorthodox and unrelenting subject matter and technique," said festival chairman Harold Matzner in a statement Thursday. "McQueen is a master of utilizing the senses to create the essence of his works."

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Past Director of the Year Award recipients include Stephen Daldry, Ang Lee, Anthony Minghella, Alexander Payne, Sean Penn and Robert Zemeckis.

McQueen's first film, 2008's "Hunger," won the Camera d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and his 2011 "Shame" received numerous nominations as well as the FIPRESCI Prize at the Venice Film Festival.


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