Steve McQueens film 12 Years A Slave, which is currently number one in the UK box office having knocked American Hustle off the top spot, has been nominated for nine Oscars. The nominations include the coveted best director category for McQueen and best picture.

The film, which tells the true story of free man turned slave Solomon Northup, also receives nominations for: best actor in a leading role (Chiwetel Ejiofor); best supporting actor (Michael Fassbender); best supporting actress (Lupita Nyongo); best adapted screenplay (John Ridley); best film editing; best production design; and best costume design.

McQueen, talking to the BBC, said: Im just very excited. My goodness, nine nominations – a lot of them British. We worked very hard and were privileged to be in this position.

Last week 12 Years A Slave was nominated for ten BAFTAs and on Monday the film won the Golden Globe for best film (drama).

McQueen won the Turner Prize in 1999 and in 2003 was the Official War Artist in Iraq, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum. His two previous films, Hunger (2008) and Shame (2011) were widely praised.