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12 Years A Slave named best film by UK Regional Critics

12 Years A Slave

Story by Jack Foley

STEVE McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave has been named Film of the Year by the UK’s regional film critics.

In addition, the film’s leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor took the best actor prize for his performance as Solomon Northup.

A delighted McQueen commented: “I am thrilled that 12 Years A Slave has been named best picture by the UK regional film critics. This means so much to me. Thank you for your help in making the film such a success throughout the UK.”

McQueen did, however, miss out on the best director prize, which instead went to Alonso Cuaron for his space drama Gravity.

Cuaron commented: “It’s particulartly gratifying to receive this honour from the UK regional film critics. Your encouraging words helped pave the road for audiences to really embrace the film. Gravity was produced, shot and all the post production done here in the UK. I had the privilege of working with hundreds of talented British artists and I share this with all of them.

“I’d like to single out everyone at Framestore; our incredible crew, particularly our cinematographer and my dear friend Chivo [Emmanuel Lubezki]; our visual effects supervisor Tim Webber, my producing partner David Heyman; and my son and co-writer Jonas.

“Lastly, I’d like to thank Sandra Bullock who fully conveyed the emotional journey of this character – the heartbeat of the story.”

In addition, Gravity scooped the ‘eye popping’ visual effects regional film award for Tim Webber.

Elsewhere, Cate Blanchett continued her winning streak by scooping the best actress prize for her performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine.

And the screenwriter of the year was named as Spike Jonze, for his script for Her.

George McKay, recently shortlisted as one of the EE Rising Star nominees, took the British Breakthrough Award for his work in the films Sunshine on Leath, For Those In Peril and How I Live Now.

McKay, 21, commented: “It’s a real honour to have been awarded the British Breakthrough award at this year’s Regional Critics’ Film Awards and I’d like to thank everybody for voting for me. It’s very exciting to be involved in British filmmaking. I learned so much working on Sunshine on Leith and had such a brilliant time working on it.”

In addition to the main prizes, several were awarded by public vote. These saw Disney’s Frozen take the animated film of the year and Saving Mr Banks stars Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson being named best on-screen duo.

Stephen Frears’ film Philomena, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, also took the British film of the year title.

Dame Judi commented: “A huge thank you to the public for awarding British film of the year to Philomena. It was a great honour to work with so many talented British cast and crew on this once in a lifetime project. I am so proud that our work has been recognised by this wonderful award.”

Established in 2006, the UK Regional Film Critics’ Awards are named in honour of Richard (Lord) Attenborough CBE. The awards were presented at the Cafe de Paris in London’s West End on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

Critics’ vote:

Film Of The Year
12 Years a Slave

Director
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

Screenwriter
Spike Jonze, Her

Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Actress
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

British Breakthrough Award
George MacKay