Last December’s Django Unchained kicked open the door for black cinema and pre-Civil War period pieces. While that film earned the ire of Spike Lee due to it looking in his eyes like a “spaghetti western” as opposed to a “holocaust”, October sees the debut of Steve McQueen’s third directorial effort 12 Years A Slave.

Based upon the autobiography of Solomon Northup, the film tells his story as a freed man in 1841 New York City who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. The film stars British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Northup and is rounded out with an all-star cast including Michael K. Williams, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Alfrie Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti and more. It’s also a feather in the cap for John Ridley whose career has spanned all over the place from Undercover Brother, Three Kings and a few episodes of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.

12 Years A Slave arrives in theaters in October.