Awards ceremonies, while giving critics a chance to award the movies they feel are most deserving of praise, often also give people an opportunity to discuss cinema and what it means to them, as well as the impact film has on larger societal aspects. One such reflection occurred at the 2013 New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner, which occurred on Monday, January 6th, 2014. To present 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen with the Best Director prize, the committee chose noted musician and actor Harry Belafonte. Prior to the presentation of the prize, however, Belafonte spoke about the impact that cinema had on him over the years, and how he felt about McQueen’s film and its role in cinema and race relations. The speech has now been released, and can be heard below.