12 Years a Slave Wins Big at the Independent Spirit Awards

02 Mar 2014

Will 12 Years a Slave lead at the Oscars too?

12 Years a Slave got a big Oscars boost after dominating the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards by scoring five top honours.

The critically-acclaimed drama, about a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery, was named Best Feature, while British filmmaker Steve McQueen walked away from 1 March's Santa Monica, California prizegiving as Best Director, dedicating his trophy to Solomon Northup, the real-life inspiration for the movie.

The film also claimed the Best Supporting Female title for birthday girl Lupita Nyong'o, who turned 31 on Saturday, in addition to Best Screenplay (John Ridley) and Best Cinematography (Sean Bobbitt).

12 Years A Slave led the nominations heading into the Oscars-eve event with seven nods, but both Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender lost out on the respective Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Male accolades to Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey, for his role as an AIDS activist, and Jared Leto, who played a transgender HIV sufferer.

The Best Female Lead went to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.

McConaughey was back on the podium to receive the Robert Altman Award as part of the cast of Jeff Nichols' coming-of-age drama Mud. The prize recognises the director, casting director and ensemble cast of a movie.

The Independent Spirit Awards honours films which have been made for less than $20 million (£12.5 million). Movies must have either screened at a major film festival, including Sundance, Toronto or the Los Angeles Film Festival, or run for at least a week at a commercial theatre.

Check out the full list of winners:

Best Feature: 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Male Lead: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Female Lead: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Male: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Female: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave

Best Editing: Nat Sanders, Short Term 12

Best Documentary: Morgan Neville, 20 Feet From Stardom

Best International Film: Blue Is the Warmest Color

First Feature: Fruitvale Station

First Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Piaget Producers Award: Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston

John Cassavetes Award: This Is Martin Bonner

Robert Altman Award: Mud