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'12 Years a Slave' tops Spirit Awards nominations

  • This image released by Fox Searchlight shows Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from "12 Years A Slave." The film was nominated for a Spirit Award for best feature on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight, Jaap Buitendijk)

LOS ANGELES — The race to Oscar has officially begun, as "12 Years a Slave" was nominated for seven Spirit Awards.

The Steve McQueen-directed drama is up for best feature, best director, best actor for Chiwetel Ejiofer, supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o, supporting actor for Michael Fassbender, and John Ridley for best cinematography and screenplay.

Also in the running for best feature is Alexander Payne's comedy "Nebraska" along with thriller "All is Lost," Greta Gerwig starring "Frances Ha" and the Cohen brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Julie Delpy and Cate Blanchett received female lead nominations Tuesday, while Robert Redford and Matthew McConaughey round out the best male lead.

Nominees will gather in Santa Monica on Mar. 1 to collect their awards. The Spirit Awards will air that night on IFC.

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