British director Steve McQueen's critically-acclaimed new drama 12 Years A Slave has scored a trio of top nominations for the 2013 Gotham Independent Film Awards.
The movie, based on a true story, stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery, and his performance has earned him a nod for Best Actor. He will face competition from Matthew MCConaughey for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, Oscar Isaac for Inside Llewyn Davis, Robert Redford for All Is Lost and Isaiah Washington for Blue Caprice.
MCQueen's leading lady, Lupita Nyong'o, has also gained recognition in the Breakthrough Actor category, which includes Kill Your Darlings' Dane DeHaan and Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station, while the picture itself is shortlisted for Best Feature, against Inside Llewyn Davis, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Upstream Color and Richard Linklater's Before Midnight.
Meanwhile, the stars mentioned for Best Actress include Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, and Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now.
The Gotham Independent Film Awards will take place in New York on 2 December (13), when Forest Whitaker and Linklater are also due to receive career tributes.
The Big Apple prizegiving traditionally kicks off the film world's awards season with winners often going on to land Oscar nominations and wins.