Pohlad-produced '12 Years a Slave' takes top audience prize at Toronto Film Festival

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The Bill Pohlad-produced historical drama "12 Years a Slave" took the top audience prize -- the People's Choice Award -- at the Toronto International Film Festival Sunday, Variety reports.

Directed by Steve McQueen, the film tells the true story of Solomon Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man in the pre-Civil War Era United States who was abducted from upstate New York and sold into slavery in the deep South.

Pohlad, one of the sons of late Twins owner Carl Pohlad, was one of the producers on the film, which co-stars and was co-produced by Brad Pitt.

The Wrap says "12 Years a Slave" is "considered a leader in the Oscar race for Best Picture after triumphant screenings in Toronto and Telluride (Film Festival)."

After screening the film Friday night The Wrap called the film "a brutal, scorching and unflinching work that is hard to watch and will no doubt be harder to forget."

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis announced earlier this month that it will host a retrospective of McQueen's films starting Oct. 30. The retrospective will conclude Nov. 9, when the British filmmaker will appear at a Walker Dialogue.

See the trailer for "12 Years a Slave below.

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