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“12 Years a Slave,” based on an 1853 memoir of a free black man sold into slavery, won the top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday.

The film, by “Shame” director Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, took home the BlackBerry People’s Choice award.

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Chiwetel Ejiofor (L) and Michael Fassbender in ‘12 Years a Slave.’

Recent winners of the People’s Choice award, which is selected by Toronto festival audiences, include Oscar-winners “The King’s Speech” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” Last year, “Silver Linings Playbook” won the festival award.

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Ejiofor (center right) and the film are poised for an exciting awards season. Previous TIFF People’s Choice winners have gone on to win big at the Oscars.

The movie opens nationwide on October 18th.

 

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  • Starla

    I am so happy for the movie’s success so far. I love Steve McQueen’s work! Fassy seems to be his muse, pretty much in everything he does.

    They had a free showing of the movie last night to thank the city. The Gods are against me, because I am still stuck waiting until October to see this.

  • Phillygurl

    I can’t wait to see this move. I am very conscious about what I support with my hard earned dollars. Before seeing Fruitvale Station on opening night, the last movie I went to see was Ava Duvernay’s Middle of Nowhere at a special screening. 12 Years A Slave, The Long Walk To Freedom, and Half The Yellow Sun are the movies I plan to support with my finances this year. This is going to be one of those rare movie seasons. Now we have to work on television.

  • I hate to bring the comment section down with my negative thoughts…. but, really? Another slave movie? I’m sure it will be a good film, but at least once, in the 21st century, I would like to see a film about a black person that doesn’t involve slavery, being “The Help”, or being unarmed and killed by the police.

    • HI CeeCee – we are actually covering your comment today! Look for a post soon :)

    • Dorian

      Good point. I hadn’t thought about that the what “we” or what the general public consider good movies involve the sometimes ugly side of our history.

      It’s either that or the ensemble casting of every black actor from the 21st century (Taye Diggs, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, etc).

    • Angelique212

      Please read this real-life account/the narrative. It is mind-blowing and honest. It is not a white woman’s take on black maids. It is not the take of a misogynist former “drug peddler to the stars” on the FICTIONAL accounts of the life of a REAL man and his family in the White House where, in order to “bump up the script”, he chooses to vilify the decades long, LOYAL marriage by characterizing the wife as unloyal and ,,, (you don’t want to know what was edited out). 12 YEARS A SLAVE gives a perspective of the enslaved African that we have never gotten in all the previous sanitized accounts. If there were to be just ONE movie dealing with this theme, “12 Years a Slave” would and should be it.

      Please be open to this movie… it is so important. TRUTH is so important and because Americans have never dealt with the issue without skewing its truths, we have never had a satisfactory account. This Black Briton, who exists also a result of the Triangular Trade, is bringing not just America, but Black America its truth.

      This movie is important. PLEASE GIVE IT A CHANCE.

    • Cocochanel31

      AMEN!! The book should be a MUST READ IN schools..it gives teh REAL DEAL not the sugar coated mess of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the like……

    • Philygurl

      Your post brings to mind a skit during one of the BET Awards shows, I know why would I bring BET into this. Kevin Hart and Samuel L. Jackson were going back and forth busting one another chops and Kevin Hart said “well at least I didn’t do a slave movie” and Samuel L. Jackson’s reply was “Yes you did it was called Soul Plane”. I feel this generation need to be reminded, I work with black youth and they have no clue. They need to be reminded because they are falling victim to a whole new type/system of slavery and they don’t even know it. I may actually assign my youth group to read 12 Years A Slave and then take them to see it with parent permission.

      Black comedies and other types of movies aren’t hard to come by. When dealing with my kids the lack of entertainment isn’t the issue.

  • Cocochanel31

    I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE THSI! I am reading the memoir now andit is so riveting I CANNOT PUT IT DOWN! THIS MAN DESERVES TO BE HONORED 200 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH!~ SOLOMON NORTHURP

    • Angelique212

      … the end… with Patsy… tears…. tears… a MUST READ and SEE.