Steve McQueen’s “12 Years A Slave” won the prestigious audience award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, cementing its already cemented status as one of the year’s premier Oscar contenders.
Films that have won the festival’s People’s Choice honor over the last 15 years include Best Picture winners “American Beauty” (1999), “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) and “The King’s Speech” (2011), and Best Picture nominees “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (2000), “Precious” (2009) and last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook.”
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Alfre Woodard, Sarah Paulson and Brad Pitt, “12 Years A Slave” tells the true story of Solomon Northup (Ejiofor), a free man who gets kidnapped and sold into slavery. In addition to presumed Best Picture and Best Director consideration, actors Ejiofor, Fassbender and Nyong’o are expected to compete for Oscar glory in their respective categories.
“Philomena” and “Prisoners” were named runners-up to “12 Years A Slave” for the audience award; last year, eventual Best Picture winner “Argo” was selected as runner-up to “Silver Linings Playbook.” In fact, the last six Best Picture winners screened during the Toronto International Film Festival, giving hope to films like “Gravity” and “August: Osage County,” neither of which factored into Sunday’s awards announcements.
For more on “12 Years A Slave” and its most recent honor, head to THR.