Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong'o in Fox Searchlight's "12 Years a Slave" (June 27, 2013)

Sarah Paulson and Lupita Nyong’o in Fox Searchlight’s “12 Years a Slave” (June 27, 2013)

*The first awards show of the 2013 season will see honors go to the director of “12 Years a Slave” and a breakout star about to put Hollywood on notice.

British filmmaker Steve McQueen, 43, will receive the Hollywood Breakout Director Award, while Lupita Nyong’o, 30, will go home with the New Hollywood Award at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Lupita Nyong'o attends "Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet" Broadway opening night at The Richard Rogers Theater on September 19, 2013 in New York City

Lupita Nyong’o attends “Shakespeare’s Romeo And Juliet” Broadway opening night at The Richard Rogers Theater on September 19, 2013 in New York City

Nyong’o was born in Mexico, raised in Kenya and educated at the Yale School of Drama. Shortly after her 2012 graduation, she competed against 1,000 young actresses and won the role of Patsey — a slave who receives particularly unkind attention from her master and his wife — in “12 Years a Slave.” The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor in the true story of a free black man from the north who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century America.

Below, Nyong’o explains why she’ll be forever grateful to “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen.

“12 Years a Slave” opens in the U.S. on Oct. 18.  Watch the trailer below.

Next for Nyong’o is director Jaume Collet-Serra’s “Non-Stop,” opposite Liam Neeson.

The 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards ceremony will take place Oct. 21 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Beverly Hills. Previous recipients of the New Hollywood Award include Gabourey Sidibe, and Lupita’s “12 Years a Slave” co-star Quvenzhane Wallis.