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Chiwetel Ejiofor wins BAFTA Award for '12 Years a Slave'

Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor has just won a BAFTA Award for Best Performance by a Actor in a Motion Picture for his performance in "12 Years a Slave" on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, at the 67th Annual British Academy Film Awards in London, UK. The BAFTA Awards are presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and honors the best in television and film. Tonight’s show was hosted by actor Stephen Fry.

Chiwetel Ejiofor wins BAFTA Award for '12 Years a Slave.'
Photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

"12 Years a Slave" is set in pre-civil war America. It is the story of an African-American free man named Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) living in the north that is drugged, kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Chiwetel Ejiofor brilliantly portrays Northup from the kidnapping through his years in slavery.

This is the first BAFTA Award win and second nomination for Chiwetel Ejiofor. In 2006 Ejiofor was nominated for Rising Star Award.

Also nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role were:

"12 Years a Slave" was nominated for ten Screen Actors Awards this evening, including a nomination for Best Film.

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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones and no texting, please don't talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don't forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.

-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at

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