We're into the realms of awards season now and Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave seems set to continue its miraculous habit of picking up awards, like a giant snowball gathering more prizes as it rolls along.

12 Years A Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor's '12 Years A Slave' Set To Sweep The Board.

Ahead of the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards, widely considered to be a landmark ceremony of the season, the Chiwetel Ejiofor-starring film about 19th century slavery in America has been nominated in seven categories, including best feature, director, screenplay, male lead for Chiwetel Ejiofor, supporting lead for Lupita Nyong'o, supporting male for Michael Fassbender and cinematography.

Watch The '12 Years A Slave' Trailer:

So far, the movie has picked up awards categories in the Britannia Awards and the Hollywood Film Awards, and has won the 'people's choice' award at the Toronto International Film Festival as well as further film festival accolades.

Though the film is considered challenging to watch because of its unrelenting look at slavery, critics have heralded McQueen's powerful movie as a strong Oscar contender. Depending on its performance at the Independent Spirit Awards, that collective vote of confidence may be about to get a whole lot stronger.

Michael Fassbender
Michael Fassbender Nominated For Supporting Actor.

The second most nominated movie at the awards is Alexander Payne's black and white road movie, Nebraska, which has garnered six nominations, including one for lead actor Bruce Dern. Amongst those nominated for best female lead is Australian actress Cate Blanchett, for her role in Woody Allen's critically acclaimed Blue Jasmine.

Nebraska Movie
'Nebraska' Is Also Heavily Nominated At The Independent Spirit Awards.

Actor James Gandolfini is nominated post-humously for his supporting role in the heart-warming romantic comedy, Enough Said. Meanwhile, Julie Delpy is considered for two categories - best female lead and screenplay - for her role alongside Ethan Hawke in the romance, Before Midnight.

The Independent Spirit awards will be held in Los Angeles on 1 March, one day before the Academy Awards where many of the nominated films are also expected to feature. Presented annually by the Film Independent arts organisation, the event honours both independent and arthouse films that have been made for less than $20 million (£12.3m).

Blue Jasmine
Alec Baldwin & Cate Blanchett In The Critically Acclaimed 'Blue Jasmine.'