Director Steve McQueen's new film, "12 Years A Slave," is garnering effusive praise and substantial Oscar buzz for its brutal depiction of slavery.
Sound familiar? Last year, similar attention was paid to Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained." That film had a decidedly different tone than "12 Years," but its graphic violence and the fact that it was directed by a white man drummed up a conversation about slavery that permeated throughout pop culture.
Were the makers of "12 Years" worried that "Django" would steal their thunder? Screenwriter John Ridley told HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri that he always felt the source material for the film he wrote would set it apart.
"For us, it didn't interrupt what we were doing because we were going to do what we were doing," Ridley said. "And there was an authenticity. Not saying this in a pejorative fashion about anything else that was coming out -- we were based on a real story, a very powerful story, so I can't say anyone was worried about what else was going on around it."
Ridley said that "Django" as well as "Lincoln," another film released last year with slavery at its forefront, was "helpful" in that they could "force people to pay attention to a conversation that is being had."
"It is wonderful, to a degree, to be involved in a conversation where on one side it's Quentin Tarantino, on the other side it's Steven Spielberg," Ridley said. "That is not a bad space to be in."
Catch the full conversation with "12 Years A Slave" screenwriter John Ridley at HuffPost Live HERE: