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Year: 2013 (86th) Academy Awards
Category: Best Picture
Film Title: 12 Years a Slave
Winner: Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers (accompanied on stage by 12 members of the cast and crew)
Presenter: Will Smith
Date & Venue: March 2, 2014; Dolby Theatre
Thank you, all. Thank you for this incredible honor you've bestowed on our film tonight. I know I speak for everyone standing behind me that it has been an absolute privilege to work on Solomon's story. And we all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us all together to tell that story and that is the indomitable Mr. Steve McQueen.
Oh wow. I'm sorry. I apologize for the paper but otherwise I'll just bore you all. Well, maybe I'll do the same now but I'll try not to. I'd first like to thank the Academy. Thank you so much. There're a lot of people I need to thank so I'll just push on. To my wonderful cast and crew. Plan B. Brad Pitt, who, without him this film would just not have been made. Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Anthony Katagas. River Road, Bill Pohlad. New Regency, Arnon Milchan and Brad Weston. Film4, to the great Tessa Ross. And Fox Searchlight, Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley and their fantastic team.
My publicist Paula Woods – I'm sorry about this – for her hard work. April Lamb. And my magnificent agents – I have to say this to these, all with these women. I mean, I have all women in my life and they're all the most powerful; my mother, obviously. But this is Maha Dakhil – I can't even pronounce it. Maha, forgive me. I'm nervous, can't pronounce your name. Maha, you know who you are. Beth Swofford, Jenne Casarotto and Jodi Shields. Just give me one more minute. I'd like to thank this amazing historian, Sue Eakin, whose life, she gave her life's work to preserving Solomon's book. I'd like to thank my partner Bianca Stigter, for unearthing this treasure for me. Finally, I'd like to thank my mother. My mum's up there. Thank you for your hard-headedness, Mum. Thank you. And my children, Alex and Dexter. And my father, thank you.
The last word: Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]