VANCOUVER – The harrowing slavery saga “12 Years A Slave” has nabbed the best film prize at the Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards.

Steve McQueen’s acclaimed historical drama was feted at a bash that also handed best actor and best screenplay prizes to Joel and Ethan Coen’s folk-infused dramedy “Inside Llewyn Davis,” starring Oscar Isaac.

Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for his work on the sci-fi thriller “Gravity,” while Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” scored best foreign film and Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” was crowned best documentary.

Meanwhile, the high school tale “The Dirties” led all winners in the Canadian section, with Matt Johnson’s debut feature earning best Canadian film and best first film by a Canadian director. Johnson was also named best actor in a Canadian film.

Best director of a Canadian film went to Jeff Barnaby for his revenge drama “Rhymes for Young Ghouls,” while best Canadian documentary went to Chelsea McMullan’s “My Prairie Home.”

The Vancouver Film Critics Circle is composed of Vancouver-based film writers and critics from print, radio, online and television.

The acting winners include:

- Best actress Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine,”

- Best supporting actor Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club,”

- Best supporting actress Jennifer Lawrence for “American Hustle,”

- Best actress in a Canadian film for Sophie Desmarais of “Sarah Prefers to Run,”

- Best supporting actor in a Canadian film for Alexandre Landry of “Gabrielle,”

- Best supporting actress in a Canadian film for Lise Roy of “Tom at the Farm.”

Best British Columbia film went to Ben Ratner’s “Down River,” a drama inspired by late Vancouver actress Babz Chula.

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Online: www.vancouverfilmcritics.com