"12 Years a Slave" leads wins at London Critics' Circle Film Awards

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In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.
February 3rd, 2014

'12 Years a Slave' won three awards at the London Critics' Circle Film Awards on Sunday night (02.02.14).

The historical drama was named film of the year, while Chiwetel Ejiofor won actor of the year for his portrayal of Solomon Northup - a real-life figure who was kidnapped and sold into slavery - and his co-star Lupita Nyong'o took the prize for best supporting actress at the ceremony which was held at London's May Fair Hotel.

Director Steve McQueen - who was born and raised in London - was thrilled with the response the film has received and felt ''humbled and heart-warmed'' by the support.

McQueen - who lost out on best director category to Gravity's Alfonso Cuarón - said: ''It got people to the cinema. What's so interesting about the response from critics and audiences is that they want to see films which have some difficulties.

''They are interested in films where they have to work. They are interested the films where they see themselves reflected in the cinema screens.

''I have people in the street - builders, bus drivers - being so supportive to the movie. I've felt so much love for this film in this country and I'm so humbled and heart-warmed that it's from my own country.''

The ceremony began with film critic Jason Solomons paying tribute to the late American actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman as news of his death in New York City emerged.

Cate Blanchett was named actress of the year for her performance in Woody Allen's 'Blue Jasmine' and Dame Judi Dench won British actress of the year commended for her work in 'Philomena'.

Meanwhile, James McAvoy won best British actor for his work in 'Filth' and 'Trance'.

Gary Oldman, 55, was honoured with the Dilys Powell award for excellence in film and he was delighted about the recognition he'd been given.

He told the BBC News: ''I think, I think it's quite a big deal, I think it's a big deal tonight.''


Full List of Winners:


Film of the year - 12 Years a Slave


British film of the year - The Selfish Giant


Foreign-language film of the year - Blue Is the Warmest Colour


Documentary of the year - The Act of Killing


Actor of the year - Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave


Actress of the year - Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine


Supporting actor of the year - Barkhad Abdi - Captain Phillips


Supporting actress of the year - Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave


British actor of the year - James McAvoy - Filth, Trance, Welcome to the Punch


British actress of the year - Judi Dench - Philomena


Director of the year - Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity


Screenwriter of the year - Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Inside Llewyn Davis


Young British performer of the year - Conner Chapman - The Selfish Giant


Breakthrough British film-maker - Jon S Baird - Filth


Technical achievement award - Gravity - Tim Webber, special effects


Dilys Powell award for excellence in film - Gary Oldman