Slave sweeps Spirit Awards

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Steve McQueen accepts the award for best director for 12 Years A Slave at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP) Steve McQueen accepts the award for best director for 12 Years A Slave at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Steve McQueen and his film 12 Years A Slave swept to victory at the final awards ceremony before the Oscars are handed out.

The filmmaker scored best director, best feature, best screenplay, best cinematography and best supporting female for Lupita Nyong'o at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on the beach in Santa Monica, California.

The awards show, which traditionally takes place the day before the Oscars and is a far more relaxed affair, celebrates the best of independent film, with special honours given to first-time filmmakers and movies made for very small budgets.

Dallas Buyers Club stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto also continued their winning streaks by scoring best male and best supporting male respectively for their roles in the Aids drama. They both already have a clutch of gongs to their names, including Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards.

Matthew walked the blue carpet in a shiny bronze suit and blue shoes accompanied by his wife Camila Alves, while Jared revealed he is feeling "very good" about his big day tomorrow.

Cate Blanchett continued her unbeatable run in the best actress category for her title role in Woody Allen's film Blue Jasmine while French movie Blue Is The Warmest Colour won best international film.

Fruitvale Station won best first feature while Nebraska won best first screenplay. The cast, director and casting director of Mud won the 7th annual Robert Altman Award.

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