'12 Years a Slave' and 'Gravity' win at BAFTA Awards in London

By Joy Perrone,

Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave took home top honors at the British Academy Film Awards, also known as the BAFTAs.

The film, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 19th century, nabbed the Best Picture award at the British Academy Film Awards, reports The Washington Post.

While accepting his award, director Steve McQueen said, "There are 21 million people in slavery as we sit here. I just hope 150 years from now our ambivalence will not allow another filmmaker to make this film.”

McQueen is a visual artist as well as a director, and gained recognition for his film Hunger, about a hunger strike in Ireland. Ejiofor won Best Actor for his work in the film. While accepting his award, Ejifor looked at McQueen and said, “This is yours. I’m going to keep it — that’s the kind of guy I am — but it’s yours.”

One film took home the majority of the wins at the U.K. Awards - Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, reports Reuters. The space-based film won six awards out of eleven nominations, grabbing the Best Director win for Alfonso Cuaron as well as awards for Outstanding British Film, Cinematography, Sound, Music, and Visual Effects.

The British Academy Film Awards are noted for being an indicator of what films will likely win at the American Academy Awards, which take place in two weeks. You can check out the full list of BAFTA winners here.

image courtesy of Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for BFI/image.net

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