steve mcqueen - spirit awards

’12 Years A Slave’ director Steve McQueen gives acceptance speech at 2014 Spirit Awards

*Could this be a preview of tomorrow’s Academy Awards? Could be.

The Film Independent Spirit Awards were held on Saturday afternoon in Santa Monica and “12 Years A Slave” walked away with 5 awards.

They included Best Feature, Best Director, Best Supporting Female, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

As TheWrap noted in it’s coverage,  “12 Years A Slave” is locked in a tight battle with “Gravity” and “American Hustle” for the top Oscar, however neither of those films were in contention for a Spirit Award because they are only open to productions made for $20 million or less.

Steve McQueen who won for best director (“12 Years A Slave”) dedicated the award to Solomon Northup, whose life and book was the basis for the historical drama. He also gave props to the two “Slave” actors who did not win: Michael Fassbender (Best Supporting Actor) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Best Actor).

“Michael Fassbender is a genius. Nothing he wouldn’t do, nothing he can’t do,” McQueen said. He also gave thanks to Ejiofor — the “soul” of the film.

Meanwhile, “Dallas Buyers Club,” which won for lead actor Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto, was the only other film to win more than one award.

Also, it’s worth noting that “Fruitvale Station” was named Best First Feature.

The Spirit Awards will be shown tonight at 10pm E/P on IFC.

Get MORE of this story and the full list of winners at TheWrap.