12 Years a Slave, Kevin Hart Win Big at NAACP Image Awards

The epic depiction of slavery in America won in four categories. 

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Producer Jeremy Kleiner, actress Lupita Nyong'o, producer Dede Gardner and screenwriter John Ridley accept the award for outstanding motion picture for 12 Years a Slave at the 45th NAACP Image Awards, Feb. 22, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. 

Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

Steve McQueen’s historical epic about slavery in America, 12 Years a Slave, swept the film categories at the NAACP Image Awards, earning four wins.

At the 45th NAACP Image Awards on Saturday evening at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Lupita Nyong'o won for supporting actress, and in a separate ceremony Friday evening, McQueen won the Image Award for director and John Ridley for the film's screenplay, the Los Angeles Times reports.

12 Years a Slave, which beat out Lee Daniels' The Butler and Fruitvale Station, is now a major front-runner as it heads to the Academy Awards on March 2. It also won the Golden Globe for motion picture drama, the top BAFTA prize, and tied with Gravity for the Producers Guild of America Award. It is nominated for nine Oscars.

12 Years, however, did not win in category for top actor in a motion picture. That was reserved for Forest Whitaker, who claimed the prize for his role in Lee Daniels' The Butler, and he also received the NAACP's Chairman's Award for his humanitarian work, the report says.

Additionally, Whitaker's Butler co-star David Oyelowo earned the prize for supporting actor, and Angela Bassett won the actress prize for Black Nativity.

Funny man Kevin Hart was named entertainer of the year. On Friday night, before, the Image Awards named Hart outstanding actor in a comedy series for Real Husbands of Hollywood, a BET series that also won for outstanding comedy series, the Times says.

ABC’s Scandal won the top prize for drama series, and its star, Kerry Washington, won lead actress.

Other winners named in 41 categories that also covered music and literature included Being Mary Jane for TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special, Gabrielle Union of Being Mary Jane for lead actress in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special and Idris Elba of Luther for lead actor in a TV movie, miniseries or dramatic special. The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross won its category as outstanding news and information series.

The awards were voted by members of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the U.S.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.