Civil rights drama Selma has been named ‘outstanding film of 2014’, at this year’s NAACP Image Awards, held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The film. which chronicles the journey of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965 to secure equal voting rights, walked away with four awards during the two ceremonies on Thursday and Friday evening.

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma

After being denied an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Rev. King, David Oyelowo took home the Image award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture. Accepting the award Oyelowo said, “I want to take this opportunity to say I thank the Lord I was able to play one of the most transcendent human beings who ever walked the planet.”

Rapper Common was also recognised for his role as James Bevel in the supporting actor category. While Carmen Ejogo, who played King’s wife Coretta Scott King, was awarded the best supporting actress trophy.

Accepting Selma’s award for Outstanding Motion Picture, Oprah Winfrey, who produced and starred in the film said,“This is more than a movie. It’s important that we all know who we are so we know where we’re going, and claiming the glory.”

More: 'Selma': David Oyelowo's Oscars Snub Gets More Bizarre by the Day

The award for best director went to The Equalizer's Antoine Fuqua, while Belle won honours for best independent motion picture and for Misan Sagay in the writing category. 

Entertainer of the year was awarded to Taraji P. Henson, who was also named outstanding actress in a film for the thriller No Good Deed.

ABC drama ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ was named outstanding dramatic series at the ceremony, with lead actress Viola Davis awarded the best leading actress gong. The outstanding actor in a drama award went to Shemar Moore for CBS' 'Criminal Minds'.

More: Read our review of Selma

But the big television winner of the night was ABC's ‘Black-ish’, which earned honours for outstanding comedy series, actress in a comedy series for Tracee Ellis Ross, supporting actress and actor nods, as well as the best actor in a comedy award for the evening’s host Anthony Andrews.

In his opening speech, Andrews address the controversy surrounding Selma’s lack of Oscar nominations, The film only picked up two Academy Award nods, for best picture and best song, with David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay both failing to be recognised. 

“People are up in arms because they feel the other award shows have snubbed us. So what. We’ve got our own show, right?” Anderson said. The actor then began a musical number which included the lyrics: “Writing, directing, no respect from this city,” and the refrain, “Forget the Oscars, hallelujah,” the Emmys and Golden Globes.