Slave drama showered with more gongs

The historical epic 12 Years A Slave swept the film categories at the NAACP Image Awards in California with four wins.

The film’s prizes at yesterday’s 45th annual ceremony honouring diversity in the arts included outstanding motion picture, directing for Steve McQueen, writing for John Ridley and supporting actress for Lupita Nyong’o.

“It’s been a historical year in film for all of us in this room, and I’m so proud to be a part of that history,” Nyong’o said.

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“It’s such an honour to be recognised for a film that has meant so much to so many people, a film that has inspired discourse long overdue.”

The drama picked up two of the big awards at this year’s Baftas, winning the leading actor award for its star Chiwetel Ejiofor, while it was also named best film.

Kevin Hart won entertainer of the year and actor in a comedy series for Real Husbands Of Hollywood, his reality TV satire that was also selected as outstanding comedy series. Kerry Washington picked up her fifth Image Award as outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as crisis management consultant Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, which was also honoured as outstanding drama series.

Other winners at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium ceremony hosted by actor Anthony Anderson included David Oyelowo as supporting actor in a motion picture for Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

“Thank you America for embracing me,” the British actor said. “I’m one of those guys with the funny accent.”

Forest Whitaker won best actor in a motion picture prize for The Butler. Whitaker, who founded the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, was also honoured with the NAACAP Chairman’s Award, which recognises distinguished public service.

He serves as the chairman of the International Institute for Peace and is a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.