Lupita Nyong’o | Awards Season Guide

lupita awards

The largest and most famous film Awards season is firmly under way, but there are still many events to come and we are now headed towards some of the most important accolades in the film industry. Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o‘s critically acclaimed performance in 12 Years A Slave has led to multiple nominations and award wins. The film has been awarded 370 nominations and won 183 awards thus far. To find out more about Lupita, read previous features I have written here and here.

Below is a list of some of the events she has attended, and the major upcoming events she is likely to attend. Any wins 12 Years A Slave has received from the following Award bodies, will be stated in the respective sections. Photos will be uploaded as they become available.

Lupita with Angela Bassett

Lupita’s New Hollywood Award was presented to her by acting legend Angela Bassett.

Hollywood Film Awards, 18th -20th October 2013

The Hollywood Film Festival was created to make a connection between established Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers and the global creative community, as well as to honor excellence in the art of filmmaking. The awards are bestowed on honorees rather than nominees. In effect, the recipients are not competing; they are selected to be honored for their body of work and/or a film(s) that is to be released during the calendar year. Artist/filmmaker Steve McQueen received the Hollywood Breakout Director Award and actress Lupita Nyong’o received the New Hollywood Award for their work on 12 Years A Slave.


Lupita Nyong’o accepting her LAFCA Best Supporting Actress award which she won for ’12 Years A Slave’.

LAFCA Awards, Saturday 11th January 2014

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is comprised of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media. The association also presents yearly awards to members of the film industry who have excelled in their fields. The creative team behind 12 Years A Slave received a Special Citation for “beautifully telling a story that challenges us to reconcile who we are now with what we did then,” while Lupita received her award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave,

My cup runneth over with gratitude…I am still in awe of [director] Steve McQueen.

Palm Springs International Film Festival, Sunday 4th January 2014

Now in its 25th year, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the US. The festival features more than 180 films from over 70 countries and includes the largest selection Foreign Language Oscar submissions of any Festival in the US. PSIFF has also evolved into one of the most highly anticipated preludes to the Oscars. Artist/filmmaker Steve McQueen won the Director of the Year Award and Lupita won the Breakthrough Performance Award for her role in 12 Years A Slave.

AFI Awards, Friday, January 10, 2014

The American Film Institute is a film organization that educates future filmmakers and honors the heritage of the moving picture arts. Each year the AFI Awards honor the ten outstanding films and the ten outstanding television programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. Director Steve McQueen and Nyong’o were both honorees at the AFI Awards luncheon.

golden globes

(L-R) Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen, Sarah Paulson, and Michael Fassbender pose in the press room with the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama for 12 Years a Slave at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards.

Golden Globe Awards,  Sunday, January 12, 2014

First held in 1947, the Golden Globe Awards honor achievements in film and television and divide the nominees into two categories: comedy/musical and drama. The Golden Globe Award is an American accolade bestowed by around 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign. 12 Years A Slave won the top accolade, Best Motion Picture – Drama.


Lupita Nyong’o posing with her Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress which she won for ’12 Years A Slave’.

Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Critics’ Choice Awards honor achievements in film. This year, 12 Years a Slave won three awards with the film winning Best Picture, Lupita Nyong’o Best Supporting Actress and the film’s screenwriter John Ridley Best Adapted Screenplay. Going into the awards, the Fox Searchlight produced film had 13 nominations.

sag awards

Lupita Nyong’o posing with Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for ’12 Years A Slave’.

Screen Actors Guild Awards, Saturday, January 18, 2014

The SAG annual awards, now in their 20th year, honor acting work in five film categories and eight television categories. The most important award goes to an ensemble cast in both TV and film in order to highlight the collaborative art of acting.Only members of acting guild SAG-AFTRA may vote, so all winners are decided by their peers. The guild includes around 100,000 actors. It has become one of the industry’s most prized honors. 12 Years A Slave received 4 nominations with Nyong’o scoring the only win (for Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor in a Supporting Role).

Producers Guild Awards, Sunday, January 19th 2014

The Producers Guild of America is a non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 5,000 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by facilitating members health benefits, encouraging enforcement of workplace labor laws, the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave tied for top honors beating front-runner American Hustle and throwing open one of the tightest Oscar races in years.

12 Years a Slave producers Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner shared the Darryl F. Zanuck Outstanding Producer of theatrical motion picture prize. The tie is a first in this category in PGA history.

Directors Guild Awards, Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild which represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. The DGA is the world’s preeminent organization representing directors and members of the directorial team, including Directors, Assistant Directors, Unit Production Managers, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates – 15,000 strong worldwide. McQueen was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 12 Years A Slave, but lost to Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity).

African American Film Critics Association Awards, Friday 31st January 2014

The AAFCA creates awareness of films with widespread appeal to the black community while stressing the importance of films produced, written, directed and starring people of African descent. Members also involve themselves in advocacy work for students interested in film journalism and criticism. The organization gives out awards for a variety of categories and actively reviews cinema overall, but highlights films about the African-American experience. AAFCA members are a geographically diverse cross-section of journalists, covering all genres of the cinematic arts, while representing multiple mediums – including print, TV, radio broadcast and online. Nyong’o was awarded the  Breakout Performance Award and acknowledged the prize via a recorded video message.


American Society of Cinematographers Award, Saturday 1st February 2014

The American Society of Cinematographers(ASC) is an educational, cultural, and professional organization. Neither a labor union nor a guild, ASC membership is by invitation and is extended only to directors of photography and special effects experts with distinguished credits in the film industry. Members can put the letters A.S.C. after their names. ASC membership has become one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a professional cinematographer, a mark of prestige and distinction. 12 Years A Slave cinematographer, and regular McQueen collaborator Sean Bobbitt was nominated but lost to  Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Children of Men).


Annie Awards, Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Animation’s highest honour for excellence in this craft, Annie Awards are presented in 28 categories including best animated feature, television production, television commercial, short subject, video game, as well as individual achievements. The Annie Awards is ASIFA-Hollywood‘s most glamorous event.

Writers Guild of America Awards, Saturday, February 1st, 2014

The WGA give awards for outstanding achievements in film, television, and radio and has been presented annually by the Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America, West since 1949. The screen awards are for films that were exhibited theatrically in the Los Angeles area during the preceding calendar year. The television awards are for series that were produced and aired between December 1 and November 30, regardless of how many episodes aired during this time period. Additionally, scripts must be produced under the jurisdiction of the WGA or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K.

12 Years A Slave did not received any nominations. Other notable screenplays about the African diaspora excluded include Ryan Coogler’s script for  Frutivale Station and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, penned by William Nicholson.

London Film Critics’ Circle, Sunday February 2nd, 2014

The London Film Critics’ Circle founded in 1913, is an association for working British critics.  Currently they have 440 members, mostly from the United Kingdom, the majority of whom write regularly for national and regional newspapers and magazines and online.  Invitations are issued only to persons engaged professionally,regularly and substantially for at least two years in the writing or broadcasting (television, radio and internet) of criticism of drama, music, films, dance and the visual arts, and/or who write or broadcast informed analytical features or programmes. 12 Years A Slave led with nine nominations and won three including Supporting Actress of the Year which McQueen received on Nyong’o’s behalf.


Art Directors Guild Awards, Saturday, February 8th, 2014

These awards are presented annually by the Art Directors Guild (ADG) to recognize excellence in production design and art direction in the film and television industries (including commercials and music videos). The guild is a branch of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) representing 2,006 motion picture and television professionals. 12 Years A Slave received a nomination for Period Feature Film for Production Designer  Adam Stockhausen and his set design team.

Oscars Nominees Luncheon, Monday, February 10th 2014

With 3 weeks to go until Oscar Sunday more than 150 Oscar nominees will come together on Monday, February 10, at the Beverly Hilton when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors this year’s Oscar contenders at its annual Nominees Luncheon. Go behind the scenes of the Oscars Nominees Lunch with this new video.

VES Awards, Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The Visual Effects Society (VES) is a non-profit professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects and to improving the welfare of its members by providing professional enrichment and education, fostering community, and promoting industry recognition. It is the entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners including artists, technologists, model makers, educators, studio leaders, supervisors, PR/marketing specialists and producers in all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos and games. View a full list of the 12th annual VES Awards nominations over at The Wrap.

American Cinema Editors ACE

ACE Eddie Awards (film editors), Saturday, February 15, 2014

The American Cinema Editors (ACE), is an honorary society of motion picture editors founded in 1950.  Film editors are voted into membership on the basis of their professional achievements, their dedication to the education of others and their commitment to the craft of editing. The objectives and purposes of the awards are to advance the art and science of the editing profession;  to increase the entertainment value of motion pictures by attaining artistic pre-eminence and scientific achievement in the creative art of editing;  to bring into close alliance those editors who desire to advance the prestige and dignity of the editing profession. 12 Years A Slave’s Joe Walker (and long-time McQueen collaborator) is nominated for Best Feature Film (Drama).

BAFTA Nominees Party, February 15th 2014

The night before the BAFTA awards ceremony, there will be a Nominees party held in their honour to celebrate their achievements.


British Academy of Film and Television Awards, Sunday, February 16, 2014

The annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts Film Awards, known as the BAFTAs, honor any film that screened in British cinemas regardless of the film’s origin. It is one of the only awards shows that does not take place in Hollywood. Members of BAFTA may vote for the awards. 12 Years A Slave was nominated for ten BAFTA awards.

*Update* Nyong’o lost the Best Supporting Actress award to Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle) but 12 Years A Slave won best picture and Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor.

The general public is invited to vote for the rising star award. This year, Lupita Nyong’o is nominated and you can vote for her here. Voting ends on February 14th 2014. Lupita lost this award to Will Poulter.

costume designes guild

Costume Designers Guild Awards, Saturday, February 22, 2014

Founded in 1999, the Costume Designers Awards honors costume designers and promotes research, artistry, and technical expertise in costume design in the field of moving pictures whether it is animation, commercial, television, motion picture, music video or any future media utilizing moving images.Costume Designers create the look of a character in film or television. This requires detailed research and director’s vision and often, the costumes set fashion trends that inspire fashion designers and impact world culture.

12 Years A Slave‘s Patricia Norris has been nominated for Excellence In Period Film. Norris has been nominated six times for Academy Award for Costume Design.

*Update* Norris won the award for 12 Years A Slave.

Read about the process that Norris went through to create the costumes for 12 Years A Slave over at Vanity Fair,

Slaves were originally brought over here naked because [merchants] originally wanted to destroy everything that connected them to a past…So you had to figure out where they got their clothes once they got here…Norris figured that Ejiofor’s character was only given “three, four, or five pieces of clothing total,” which he wore for more than a decade while performing exhaustive manual labor in the hot sun, aging was a key factor in his wardrobe design.

Lupita Nyong'o poses with her Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture award for 12 Years a Slave at the 45th NAACP Image Awards.

Lupita Nyong’o poses with her Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture award for 12 Years a Slave at the 45th NAACP Image Awards.

45th NAACP Image Awards, Saturday 22nd February 2014

The NAACP Image Award is an accolade presented by the American National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honor outstanding people of color in film, television, music, and literature.
Similar to other awards, the 35 categories of the Image Awards are voted on by the award organization’s members (NAACP members). Honorary awards have also been included, such as the President’s Award, the Chairman’s Award, Entertainer of the Year and The Image Award Hall of Fame.

Lupita Nyong’o won the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a  Motion Picture award, while 12 Years A Slave won Outstanding Motion Picture and John Ridley won Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture award.


Non-Stop Premiere, Friday 28th February 2014

Nyongo’s next film project is the action film Non-Stop starring prolific and accomplished actors Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Read more about the film here.

Film Independent Spirit Awards, Saturday, March 1, 2014

Now in its 29th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards honor arts-driven films made on independent-level budgets in 15 categories. The awards are presented by Film Independent, a non-profit organization dedicated to independent film and independent filmmakers. Trophies are presented for the year’s best achievements in independent film, with statues awarded for Best Feature, Best First Feature, Best Feature Made for Under $500,000 (the John Cassavetes Award) and many more. 12 Years A Slave has received seven nominations in total including Best Supporting Female for Lupita Nyong’o.

*Update* Lupita won the award for Best Supporting Female and 12 Years A Slave won a total of 5 awards.


Lupita poses with her award for best supporting actress at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony.

Lupita poses with her award for best supporting actress at the 86th Academy Awards ceremony.

Academy Awards, Sunday, March 2, 2014

Also known as the Oscars, the first Academy Awards were held in 1929 and are overseen by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). They have been televised since 1953. The awards honor achievements in film and are generally considered the most important awards in Hollywood. More than 600 members of the academy, all film artists and professionals, vote in 24 categories. 12 Years  A Slave received nine nominations (although a surprise omission for Sean Bobbitt‘s cinematography).

*Update* Lupita won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and 12 Years A Slave garnered 3 awards in total (including Best Picture).

Other Events


The Power of Collaboration Global Summit, United Nations, NYC, February 26th

Theme: “Women and the Future of Global Leadership”

Lupita Nyong’o has been invited to be the Mistress of Ceremony (but Lupita’s participation has not yet been confirmed). Global leaders and multi-stakeholders from both public and private sectors will gather to discuss and leverage new, innovative approaches of collaboration as key to accelerating women’s leadership at the highest levels of influence.  This year, the event will also highlight IMPACT Leadership 21’s support and commitment to taking action on the Post-2015 UN Development Agenda.  The event will be followed by a special VIP Reception. Sitting is limited to only 50 guests and you can get your tickets here.


World Gold Council Cocktail Party, Wednesday February 26th 2014

LoveGold who have been supporters of Lupita for sometime now and Sally Morrison Managing Director of the Jewellery department will be celebrating Academy Award nominee Lupita Nyong’o at Selma House at Chateau Marmont. The event will have several special guests attending.

Based in the UK, with global operations, The World Gold Council is the market development organisation for the gold industry. Working within the investment, jewellery and technology sectors, as well as engaging in government affairs, their purpose is to provide industry leadership, whilst stimulating and sustaining demand for gold. The association has 21 members and is comprised of the world’s leading gold mining companies.

Lupita Nyong'o as she appears in the March Hollywood issue of Essence Magazine.

Lupita Nyong’o as she appears in the March Hollywood issue of Essence Magazine.

Essence Magazine’s Black Women in Hollywood Event, Thursday February 27th 2014

This year, the Black Women in Hollywood event will once again celebrate the top African-American women in the film industry. Newcomer Lupita Nyong’o will be honored with the Best Breakout Performance award for her stellar performance in 12 Years a Slave. Cheryl Boone Isaacs will receive the Trailblazer award for her leadership in the film industry and Ava DuVernay will receive the Visionary award for her work as a writer, producer, director and distributer of independent film.

In an effort to honor the past, the event will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by paying tribute to legendary performers who were also the freedom fighters of the Civil Rights Movement. Cicely Tyson, Diahann Carroll, Nichelle Nichols, Jim Brown, Denise Nicholas and Clarence Williams III among others will be honored for their brave acts both on and off the stage. Fans can gain exclusive access to the red-carpet action of the 2014 Black Women in Hollywood event through a live-stream hosted at Essence, at 2:30 p.m. EST and re-airing that evening at 9 p.m. EST.

One thought on “Lupita Nyong’o | Awards Season Guide

  1. Pingback: Lupita Nyong’o | Rising Star & Captivating Presence | Ciné Kenya

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