Steve McQueen dedicated his Oscar to those who have endured slavery.
McQueen's hard-hitting drama 12 Years A Slave was the toast of the Oscars last night as it won the Best Picture award.
12 Years A Slave was the slight favourite for the gong, and triumphed over main rival Gravity.
Speaking as he collected his award, McQueen said: "Thank you so much to the Academy, to Brad Pitt, without him, this film would not have been made.
"To all the women in my life, they're all women and they're so powerful - my mother obviously. I'd like to thank the amazing historian, Sue Aiken, who gave her life's work to preserving Solomon's book.
"And everyone deserves not just to survive but to live. This is the most important legacy of Solomon Northup. I dedicate this award to all who have endured slavery and to the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today. Thank you."
12 Years A Slave was up for nine Oscars last night, and won three: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Lupita Nyong'o and Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley.
12 Years A Slave is just the third feature film from McQueen, having already enjoyed success with Hunger and Shame.
12 Years A Slave had already win the Best Film Golden Globe and Bafta, and saw off eight other movies including American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Gravity, Nebraska, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street.