Steve McQueen, Dir 12 Years a Slave. Picture: Getty Images

Steve McQueen, Dir 12 Years a Slave. Picture: Getty Images

2014 is a big year for black filmmakers at the Oscars.  For the first time, a black director has a good chance of winning an Academy Award for their craft. Steve McQueen has directed three movies and his most recent work, 12 Years a Slave, has garnered Oscar buzz since the project was announced. Currently, it is the frontrunner to win both Best Picture and Best Directing.

Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Lupita Nyong’o & Chiwetel Ejiofor. Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The film’s lead, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is also expected to win for Best Actor, with the only real competition coming from Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street). Lupita Nyong’o is nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for her work in the film. She will probably win, but there is some speculation that Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) might clinch the win in that category.

John Ridley.  Photo: Getty Images

John Ridley. Photo: Getty Images

 

A frontrunner in the Best Adapted Screenplay category is John Ridley. Ridley wrote 12 Years a Slave, and though he faces some competition in Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope (Philomena), he will most likely walk away with the trophy.

 

Photo: Getty Images

Tom Hanks with Barkhad Abdi. Photo: Getty Images 

Pharrell Williams. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Pharrell Williams. Photo: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

 

For his role in Captain Phillips, Barkhad Abdi (an alumni of my university) is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. There is some speculation that he may not win; however, for a first time actor, a nomination is an enormous honor.

 

 

 

In the Best Original Song Category, Pharrell Williams is nominated for “Happy” from Despicable Me 2. It’s a toss up as to who will win, but he definitely has a shot.

 

 

 

Some notable snubs include Michael B. Jordan missing a nomination for his role in Fruitvale Station. His performance was acclaimed and he had a decent amount of Oscar hype behind him. Many also speculated that Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker, and Lee Daniel’s would pick up nominations for their work on Lee Daniel’s The Butler, but no such luck was found.

 

Still, with so many nominations in such prestigious categories, this is a historic year for African, African-American, and African-British filmmakers, and that’s something to be excited about.

 

So what are your thoughts on who you think is going home with the gold on March 2nd.  Feel free to share your insights via the comment section below.