Writing (Adapted Screenplay) /

12 Years a Slave

Screenplay by John Ridley

Winner /

Thank You Speech

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Film Synopsis

Solomon Northup, a free black man living with his wife and children in New York in 1841, is tricked by slave traders into traveling to Washington, D.C., where he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sent to Louisiana, he experiences the violence and degradation of life as a slave while clinging to the hope that he will someday regain his freedom.


Academy Awards History

This is the first Academy Award nomination for John Ridley.

Thank you, all. I started writing in sitcoms a long time ago. And at that time I was very fortunate to meet a script coordinator who was gracious enough to read everything I wrote. And when she thought it was ready, she put a smiling face at the end and I knew that it was job done. And, Gayle, seeing you here tonight, smiling, you take away all that soul-crushing inadequacy. All the praise goes to Solomon Northup. Those are his words. That is his life. All the thanks goes to the entire crew, the entire cast, to everyone at Fox Searchlight, at River Road, at New Regency and Plan B, Mr. Pitt, most especially to Dede and Jeremy Kleiner, you made this film happen. Jeremy, you made it happen. Thank you so much. Mom, Dad, Lisa, Beth, John, Jason…all my love. Thank you very much. Thank you.

Other Nominees

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)