LONDON – Space thriller "Gravity" and unflinching slavery saga "12 Years a Slave" are among leading contenders for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars.
"Gravity" received nominations in 11 categories Wednesday, including best picture and lead actress, for Sandra Bullock.
"12 Years" had 10 nominations, including nods for star Chiwetel Ejiofor and director Steve McQueen.
"I continue to be immensely proud of the recognition this film is getting around the world," said British actor Ejiofor, who plays a free black man kidnapped into slavery in the 19th-century United States, said
"There is, of course, something particularly special about receiving a BAFTA nomination from home," he said.
Crime caper "American Hustle" also was nominated in 10 categories, while Somali hijacking story "Captain Phillips" received nine nods.
The nominations build some awards-season momentum behind several films, especially "Gravity," an astonishing 3-D technical achievement, and the wrenching "12 Years a Slave."
The best-picture nominees are: "12 Years a Slave"; "Gravity"; 2American Hustle"; "Captain Phillips"; and "Philomena," the story of an Irishwoman in search of the son she lost decades earlier.
Acting nominees include Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Judi Dench for "Philomena."
The British prizes, known as BAFTAs, will be awarded at London's Royal Opera House on Feb. 16.
They are considered an indicator of likely success at Hollywood's Academy Awards two weeks later. Last year, Iran hostage drama "Argo" took the BAFTA for best film and the best-picture Oscar.