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Steve McQueen’s ’12 Years a Slave’ Wins People’s Choice Award at Toronto Film Festival

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Steve McQueen’s12 Years A Slave has won the top award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, further clearing the film’s path to be one of this year’s premier Oscar contenders, according to industry experts.

According to the Huffington Post: Films that have won the festival’s People’s Choice honor over the last 15 years include Best Picture winners “American Beauty” (1999), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) and “The King’s Speech” (2011), and Best Picture nominees “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Precious” (2009) and last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”

The film, 12 Years A Slave is based on the autobiography of Solomon Northup, and follows the story of the free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery in 19th century America.

The film boasts an all-star cast of actors, including: Chiwetel Ejiofor (Solomon Northup), Michael Fassbender, Ruth Negga, Adepero Oduye, Alfre Woodard, Lupita Nyong’o, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scott McNairy, Garret Dillahunt, Brad Pitt, Michael K. Williams, Paul Giamatti, Sarah Paulson and others.

Fox Searchlight will screen the film next at the New Orleans Film Festival, after another impressive premiere at the New York Film Festival, before releasing it theatrically Oct. 18 in a limited rollout.  The film will be distributed nationwide in successive weeks.

Warner Bros’ child abduction thriller, Prisoners, which costars Viola Davis and Terrence Howard, was another festival hit and was TIFF’s runner-up for the People’s Choice Award.

Here are the list of winners below:

People’s Choice Award:
*12 Years a Slave*
Runners-up: Philomena and Prisoners

People’s Choice Award For Documentary:
The Square
Runners-up: Beyond the Edge and Hi-Ho Mistahey

People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness:
Why Don’t You Play In Hell?
Runners-up: Oculus, Witching & Bitching

Best Canadian Feature Film:
When Jews Were Funny

Best Canadian First Feature Film:
Asphalt Watches

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section:
Ida

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section:
The Amazing Catfish

NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film:
Qissa

Award For Best Canadian Short Film:
Noah

The Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award:
All The Wrong Reasons

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