"12 Years a Slave," Steve McQueen's harrowing depiction of slavery in America, was named best flim at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday in London. Chiwetel Ejiofor also won for leading actor as the freeman-turned-slave in the drama.
Though "Slave" won the top prize at the ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity" was the evening's biggest winner, receiving six BAFTA prizes -- for director, outstanding British film, cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki, music for Steve Price, sound for Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri and Chris Munro and special visual effects for Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould and Nikki Penny.
"Gravity" is nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and "Slave" is in contention for nine. "Slave" won the Golden Globe for best dramatic film and both pictures tied for the top prize at the Producers Guild Awards last month.
Cate Blanchett continues her winning ways, earning a lead actress award for "Blue Jasmine." Supporting actor honors went to Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," while the supporting actress BAFTA was handed to Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle."
"Hustle" won three awards. Besides Lawrence, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell won for original screenplay. And Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell and Kathrine Gordon earned a prize for makeup and hair.
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope received the BAFTA for adapted screenplay for "Philomena," and "Frozen" was named outstanding animated film. "The Great Beauty" won the BAFTA for Film Not in the English Language.
Editing honors went to Dan Hanley and Mike Hill for "Rush," while Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn won BAFTAs for production design for "The Great Gatsby." Martin also won for the film's costume design.
Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" won for documentary.
Other awards Sunday (click for a complete list of winners):
British short film: "Room 8"
British short animation: "Sleeping With Fishes"
Outstanding debut by a British writer, director or producer: Kieran Evans, the writer-director of "Kelly + Victor."
Director Peter Greenaway ("The Draughtsman's Contract") received an award for outstanding British contribution to cinema, while the Fellowship, the academy's highest honor, went to Helen Mirren.
Stephen Fry hosted the ceremony, which will be telecast at 8 p.m. Sunday on BBC America.