Film’s EIGHT awards breaks the record set by “Precious” in 2010

Washington, DC — This evening in the Nation’s Capital, the 14th Annual Black Reel Awards handed out their prizes for the finest accomplishments and achievements of African-Americans and people of the African Diaspora in feature and independent films and television in 2013.

The runaway winner of the night was 12 Years a Slave, the harrowing story of a free black man who is kidnapped from his Northern home and family and forced into more than a decade of soul-consuming slavery. The film won an astonishing eight awards, besting previous record-holder, Precious. They included: Outstanding Motion Picture, outstanding actor for Chiwetel Ejiofor, Outstanding Supporting Actress for dazzling newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who also won Outstanding Female Breakthrough Performance, Outstanding Director for Steve McQueen, Outstanding Screenplay for John Ridley, Outstanding Ensemble, and Outstanding Score for unexpected maestro Hans Zimmer.

“The fact that in one of the strongest years for Black film in recent memory, one film was able to be so dominant is a testament to the vision of Steve McQueen, the screenplay by John Ridley and the fantastic performances of the trio of actors led by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o,” said Black Reel Awards creator and Executive Director, Tim Gordon. “This will be a year no one forgets.”

The sole remaining acting awards went to Danai Gurira (Outstanding Actress) for her role in Mother of George. Captain Phillips’ Barkhad Abdi nabbed both Outstanding Supporting Actor and Outstanding Male Breakthrough Performance.

12 Years a Slave wasn’t the only heralded film. 20 Feet from Stardom, about the oft-ignored world of backup singers, won Outstanding Documentary, while The New Black took Outstanding Independent Documentary. War Witch, from Canada, grabbed Outstanding Foreign Film. Outstanding Independent Feature went to Blue Caprice.

“Desperation,” by Judith Hill, from the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, won Outstanding Original Song, while another star using his voice wow audiences—Samuel L. Jackson—snagged Outstanding Voice Performance for his part in the animated film, Turbo.

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series was awarded to Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth, while the Outstanding Television Documentary was won by Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley. A familiar feature face returned to claim a “small screen” award — Chiwetel Ejiofor won Outstanding TV Movie Actor for Dancing on the Edge. Anika Noni Rose won for Outstanding TV Movie Actress for her role in The Watsons Go to Birmingham. Outstanding Supporting Actress went home with Octavia Spencer for Call Me Crazy: A Five Film. Outstanding Supporting Actor was awarded to Omari Hardwick for Being Mary Jane

Outstanding TV Movie Screenplay went to Mara Brock Akil’s Being Mary Jane, while veteran film and television helmer, Spike Lee, won Outstanding Director for Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth.

“Every year you think the films and experiences can’t be topped,” said Gordon, “and then every year our voters are dazzled by the abundance of riches they have the honor of reviewing. These films and the people who worked so hard to see them realized are why we do what we do.”


Outstanding Motion Picture
12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Actress
Danai Gurira | Mother of George

Outstanding Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi | Captain Phillips

Outstanding Supporting Actress
Lupita Nyong’o | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Director
Steve McQueen | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Screenplay
John Ridley | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Documentary
20 Feet From Stardom | Morgan Neville

Outstanding Ensemble
12 Years a Slave | Francine Maiser

Outstanding Foreign Film
War Witch | Canada

Outstanding Score
Hans Zimmer | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Original Song
“Desperation” by Judith Hill | 20 Feet From Stardom

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Male
Barkhad Abdi | Captain Phillips

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female
Lupita Nyong’o | 12 Years a Slave

Outstanding Voice Performance
Samuel L. Jackson | Turbo

Outstanding Independent Feature
Blue Caprice | Alexandre Moors

Outstanding Independent Documentary
The New Black | Yoruba Richen

Outstanding Independent Short
Black Girl in Paris | Kiandra Parks

Outstanding Television Documentary
Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley | Whoopi Goldberg

Outstanding TV Movie or Mini-Series
Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Outstanding TV Movie Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | Dancing on Edge

Outstanding TV Movie Actress
Anika Noni Rose | The Watsons Go to Birmingham

Outstanding Supporting Actor, TV Movie
Omari Hardwick | Being Mary Jane

Outstanding Supporting Actress, TV Movie
Octavia Spencer | Call Me Crazy: A Five Film

Outstanding Director, TV Movie
Spike Lee | Mike Tyson: Undisputed Truth

Outstanding Screenplay, TV Movie
Mara Brock Akil | Being Mary Jane

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