10/15/2013 03:07 pm ET Updated Dec 15, 2013

My Conversation With Steve McQueen

Tonight on PBS, I sit down for a conversation with acclaimed British filmmaker Steve McQueen about his new film 12 Years a Slave, which Oscar-buzz predicts is a front-runner for Best Picture. The film is based on the true-life story of a free African American from New York who was kidnapped during a visit to Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery, spending more than a decade as a slave before he was rescued.

In the clip below, McQueen discusses how the movie came together at a time when events, including the election of President Obama, the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, created a "perfect storm" of opportunity to look back in history in order to move forward as a society.

For more of our conversation, be sure to tune in to "Tavis Smiley" tonight on PBS. Check out our website for your local TV listings. After the show, tweet me @TavisSmiley #SteveMcQueen and let me know what you thought about our conversation.