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12 Years a Slave takes top prize at Toronto International Film Festival

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Sep 15, 2013 | 5:25pm EDT

Director Steve Mcqueen has won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival for his new drama 12 Years A Slave. The movie, which stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, landed the People's Choice honour on Sunday (15Sep13). A statement released by McQueen reads: "At a festival that has shown so many brilliant films, I cannot be more thrilled to receive this award. I am deeply grateful to all the people who have worked on this film, and that their amazing work has been recognised." The big win has made the film, which also stars Brad Pitt, an early favourite for the 2014 Oscars. Previous People's Choice recipients have gone on to strike gold at the Academy Awards, including The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire and last year's (12) Silver Linings Playbook. Philomena by Stephen Frear and Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, were named first and second runner-ups, respectively. The People's Choice Documentary award was handed to Jehane Noujaim for The Square, about the recent protests in Cairo, Egypt, and the People's Choice Midnight Madness prize went to Sion Sono's action movie Why Don't You Play in Hell?. Sunday's awards ceremony brought the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival to a close after 11 days.

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