“12 Years a Slave,” director Steve McQueen‘s harrowing depiction of slavery in America, won top motion picture honors at the 45th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
Lupita Nyong’o won in the supporting actress category for her role in “12 Years,” and in a separate ceremony Friday evening, McQueen won the Image Award for director and John Ridley for the film’s screenplay.
By beating “Lee Daniels‘ the Butler” and “Fruitvale Station,” among others, in the motion picture category, “12 Years a Slave” heads into the Academy Awards on March 2 with yet more honors. It also won the Golden Globe for motion picture drama, the top BAFTA prize and tied with “Gravity” for the Producers Guild of America Award. It is nominated for nine Oscars.
One Image Awards category that “12 Years” didn’t win was for actor in a motion picture. Forest Whitaker took home the prize for his work in “Lee Daniels’ the Butler,” and he also received the NAACP‘s Chairman’s Award for his humanitarian work.
Whitaker’s “Butler” co-star David Oyelowo picked up the prize for supporting actor, and Angela Bassett won the actress prize for “Black Nativity.”
Comedian Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the year Saturday evening; the night before, the Image Awards named Hart outstanding actor in a comedy series for “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” a BET series that also won for outstanding comedy series.
Among the other winners named in 41 categories that also covered music and literature: “Being Mary Jane” for TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special; Gabrielle Union of “Being Mary Jane” for lead actress in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special; and Idris Elba of “Luther” for lead actor in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special.
The 45th Image Awards were voted by members of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the U.S. The awards show aired Saturday night on TV One with Anthony Anderson hosting and Oprah Winfrey paying tribute to the late South African President Nelson Mandela.