'12 Years a Slave' gets top nods at UK awards.

Byline: Jill Lawless

LONDON -- The force of "Gravity'' was strong at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday -- but it was unflinching drama "12 Years a Slave'' that took the top prize.

Steve McQueen's visceral, violent story of a free black man kidnapped into servitude in the 19th-century U.S. South was named best picture. Its star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, took the male acting trophy.

Ejiofor thanked McQueen, a visual artist who turned to filmmaking with "Hunger'' and "Shame,'' for bringing the story to the screen.

Holding the trophy, the British actor told McQueen: "This is yours. I'm going to keep it -- that's...

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