12 Years a Slave a big hit for African-American Film Critics Association members

12 YEARS A SLAVE has been named the African-American Film Critics Association's film of the year.

The hard-hitting movie has also earned Steve McQueen the organisation's Best Director title, while actress Lupita Nyong'o has been handed the Breakout Performance award.

The period film, about a free New Yorker abducted and sold to slavery, has beaten out Lee Daniels' The Butler, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, American Hustle, Gravity and Fruitvale Station to the top of the AAFCA's annual best films list.

Meanwhile, Forest Whitaker has been honored with the group's Best Actor award for his role in Lee Daniels' The Butler and Sandra Bullock has been named Best Actress for her performance in Gravity.

Oprah Winfrey and Jared Leto have picked up the Best Supporting Actress and Actor trophies for Lee Daniels' The Butler and Dallas Buyers Club, respectively.

12 Years a Slave has also landed John Ridley the AAFCA's Best Screenplay prize, while Raphael Saadiq's Black Nativity score has claimed the Best Music award.

Fruitvale Station has been named Best Independent Film and Frozen Best Animation.

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