Lupita Nyong’o, John Ridley and Steve McQueen Take Home Academy Awards for “12 Years a Slave”

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Actress Lupita Nyong'o

“12 Years a Slave” won in major categories last night at the Oscars, namely for its Best Picture award. British-born Steve McQueen, the film’s director, said, “Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. This is for all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still endure slavery today.”

The 2013 historical drama, produced by Brad Pitt, among others, tells the story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Kenyan-born beauty Lupita Nyong’o, who played the role of Patsey in the film. Upon accepting the award, she remarked, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. So I want to salute the spirit of Patsey, for her guidance. And for Solomon (Northup), thank you for telling her story and your own.”

Nyong’o has won a slew of prizes this awards season, but of course, the Academy Award is the pinnacle for any actor. Her role in “12 Years” marks her debut in a feature film.

John Ridley, who adapted the script from the memoir by Solomon Northup, won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He is also credited with having written the scripts for 2012’s “Red Tails” and 1999’s “Three Kings” (along with David O. Russell).

The cast of “12 Years” includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard and Michael Fassbender.