'12 Years a Slave' was named Best Picture at the Oscars.

The film - based on the real life account by Solomon Northup, a free man who was sold into slavery in 1841 - took home the most coveted prize of the night, and was accepted by an ecstatic cast and crew including director Steve McQueen, producer and actor Brad Pitt, and stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.

Brad started the acceptance speeches, saying: ''Thank you for this incredible honour bestowed upon our film tonight. I know I speak for everyone behind me when I say it has been an absolute privilege to work on Solomon's story. We all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us here to tell that story, and that is the indomitable Mr. Steve McQueen.''

Steve then took to the podium to give his thanks, reading out a list of collaborators.

He added: ''I'd like to thank this amazing historian, Sue Aitken, who gave her life to preserving Solomon's book.

''And I'd like to thank my partner Bianca ... My mother, my mum's up there, and my children, Alex and Dexter, and my father.

''Everyone deserves not just to survive, but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery, and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.''

'12 Years a Slave' also took home two further prizes at the Academy Awards, with Luptia winning Best Supporting Actress and John Ridley winning Best Adapted Screenplay.