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Poster for 12 Years a Slave with Special Guest Ashley Dyke
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12 Years a Slave with Special Guest Ashley Dyke

Opens on March 23

Director: Steve McQueen Run Time: 180 min. Rating: R Release Year: 2013

Starring: Ashley Dyke, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong'o, Michael Fassbender

In observance of Black History Month, the Pound Ridge Human Rights Advisory Committee (HRAC) is proud to partner with The Bedford Playhouse to host a screening of the Academy Award winning film, 12 Years a Slave. Based on the 1853 memoir of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was sold into slavery, the film opened in 2013 to widespread critical acclaim, garnering multiple Oscars, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award for Best Picture.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the film’s release, the HRAC is thrilled to welcome the actress, producer, and local resident Ashley Dyke for a special panel discussion and Q&A. Ashley Dyke is best known for her role as Anna in Steve McQueen’s Academy Award winning film, 12 Years a Slave. Over the years, she has featured in two John Krasinski films—The Hollars and A Quiet Place Part 2—as well as many television projects like HBO’s Hello Ladies, CSI: NY, 90210, and The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams. She has also worked in theater, most notably in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye at La Mirada Theater.

Ashley was raised in the DC area by her father James Dyke, Jr., Virginia’s first Black Secretary of Education, and her mother Ellen, a lawyer of Jewish descent from Queens. Ashley received her degree in Theater from the University of Virginia, and studied film acting at NYU’s Tisch School. She currently lives in New York with her husband, Syrian rapper/poet Omar Offendum, and their two young children.

12 Years a Slave is based on an incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom. In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. Facing cruelty (personified by a malevolent slave owner, portrayed by Michael Fassbender) as well as unexpected kindnesses, Solomon struggles not only to stay alive, but to retain his dignity. In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s chance meeting with a Canadian abolitionist (Brad Pitt) forever alters his life.


Melissa Adeyemo – Melissa is a Nigerian American producer and the founder of Ominira Studios. Her first feature, Eyimofe, premiered at the 2020 Berlinale, has shown at over 20+ festivals, and was the first Nigerian film to be acquired by Janus Films. Her first documentary feature, Dusty & Stones, premiered at DOC NYC and has gone on to win several awards, including Best Documentary at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Best Director Award at River Run Film Festival. Melissa was recently named a 2022 BAFTA Breakthrough Fellow.

Craig Padawer – Craig Padawer is the Curriculum Chair of the Digital Filmmaking Program at SUNY Westchester Community College. He is the author of a textbook on film language and his fiction has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies.

Dr. Michele Prettyman – Michele’s earliest professional life focused on film production, specifically documentary filmmaking, for National Geographic. In the 2000s, she pivoted to academia and is currently a scholar of African American cinema and visual culture and an Assistant Professor in Fordham University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies. Her research explores Black film and cultural histories, experimental modes of filmmaking, and black expressive life as a spiritual encounter.


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