by Jen Francis
Part of our new series of accessible introductory guides to significant contemporary filmmakers, this guide is a must for film fans and students of contemporary cinema alike. An introductory chapter highlights thematic and visual devices, followed by an exploration of British director Steve McQueen’s work, from his short films and video art through his critically acclaimed feature films, including his masterpiece, the Academy Award-winning 12 Years A Slave, to his BBC TV series Small Axe and more.
Londoner Steve McQueen shot to fame in 1999 when he won the prestigious Turner Prize for innovative art. In 2020, the Tate Gallery in London held an exhibition of over a dozen works spanning film, photography and sculpture, including his homage to the African American actor and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. Ranging across the visual arts, to advertising, documentary and drama, McQueen often tackles hard-hitting topics such as discrimination and injustice in powerful, cinematic ways.
Professionally, Jen Francis is many things: a Producer in factual television, co-founder and script writer for Sassy Jam Productions and a freelance script editor and film reviewer.
In 2019 she wrote the well-received play Ethan’s Bell then went on to co-create and write the web series phase two. Jen’s understanding of story and structure is so ingrained that she constantly demands more from both her own characters and those she aids in bringing their characters to life in a script.
Through her various forms of writing, whether that be reviews, novels, scripts or factual pieces, Jen wants to create a landscape of British television that is truly representative of the audiences who watch it.