Chiwetel Ejiofor as ?Solomon Northup? in a scene from the motion picture "12 Years a Slave." CREDIT: Jaap Buitendijk, Fox Searchlight Pictures
LONDON (AP) - Chiwetel Ejiofor has won the best-actor prize at the British Academy Film awards for unflinching slavery drama "12 Years a Slave."
The British actor thanked director Steve McQueen for bringing to the screen the true story of a free black man kidnapped into servitude in the 19th-century American South.
He told McQueen: "This is yours. I'm going to keep it - that's the kind of guy I am - but it's yours."
The best-actress prize went to Cate Blanchett for her turn as a socialite on the slide in "Blue Jasmine." She dedicated the award to actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died this month.
Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for "Gravity" - one of a clutch of prizes for the sci-fi thriller.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)