Steve McQueen clears up confusion over Small Axe awards categorisation

Steve McQueen has weighed in on the debate.

Steve McQueen has cleared up confusion over whether his Small Axe film series is a work of cinema or television.

The 12 Years a Slave director released Small Axe, a collection of five films set within London's West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early '80s, on the BBC in the U.K. and in the U.S. on Amazon Prime Video last year.

There has been some confusion about how to categorise Small Axe for awards, with it earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television and being awarded prizes as a work of cinema by various critics' groups, such as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, McQueen settled the debate by insisting he made the films for TV.

"This was always made for television, for the BBC, because I wanted my mother to see these stories on TV," he said. "This is nothing new to Europe. Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Alan Parker - that all came from made-for-TV movies. All I wanted to do was to tell as many stories as I could possibly tell in that time and place."

McQueen also explained that he wanted to work with the BBC, "a platform which was not beholden to advertising", to make the stories he wanted to tell.

"I could do whatever I wanted within that format," he added. "Sometimes, you have to go where people are at, and that's what Small Axe is about."

Small Axe featured Mangrove, starring Letitia Wright, Lovers Rock, Education, Alex Wheatle, and Red, White and Blue, starring John Boyega. The short films vary in length from 64 minutes to 128 minutes.

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