'12 Years a Slave' director, actress to be honored at Hollywood Film Awards

theGRIO REPORT - '12 Years a Slave' director Steve McQueen and actress Lupita Nyong'o are set to take home awards at this year's Hollywood Film Awards...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and actress Lupita Nyong’o are set to take home awards at this year’s Hollywood Film Awards.

McQueen will be receiving the Hollywood Breakout Director Awards and Nyong’o will receive the New Hollywood Award, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

The film tells the true story of a free black man, Solomon Northup (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor) from upstate New York, who is deceived and sold into slavery during the mid-19th century. 

The highly anticipated film has been generating Oscar buzz since it hit the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year.

Richard Corliss of TIME called the film “raw, eloquent, horrifying and essential,” and Paul MacInnes, a critic for The Guardian, said it was “stark, visceral and unrelenting.”

“The movie received several standing ovations at Telluride and looks like a strong Oscar contender, as long as audiences can see its beauty amid the brutality,” wrote John Horn for the LA Times.

12 Years a Slave hits theaters October 18, and the 17th annual awards show will be held on October 21, kicking off this year’s awards season.

Follow Carrie Healey on Twitter @CarrieHeals