12 Years A Slave has been given a big Oscars boost after dominating the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards by scoring five top honors.
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 Saturday's (01Mar14) 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 recognizes the director, casting director and ensemble cast of a movie.
The Independent Spirit Awards honors films which have been made for less than $20 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 theater.
The full list of winners is:
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