BRITISH talent could pick up several Oscars at this year's Academy Awards, with Steve McQueen's acclaimed film about American slavery, 12 Years A Slave, receiving nine nominations.

UK actors Judi Dench, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sally Hawkins are also nominated for the most prestigious film awards, whose short lists are dominated by American Hustle and Gravity, which have 10 nominations each.

12 Years A Slave's nominations include a place in the coveted best picture category, as well as nods for McQueen as director and Michael Fassbender, for best supporting actor, while Ejiofor is nominated for best actor.

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The film was crowned best movie drama at the Golden Globes earlier this week.

McQueen, an artist before he became a film maker, said: "This has been an amazing ride, and to receive nine nominations from the Academy is testament to all of the hard work. And for that I am truly grateful."

In the animated short film category, the animated version of Julia Donaldson's Room on the Broom is in contention - made by Max Lang and Jan Lachauer it was shown on the BBC with the voice talents of Simon Pegg, Gillian Anderson, Rob Brydon and Timothy Spall.

Dench has been nominated for the best actress Oscar for Philomena, a film which has also brought nominations for the actor and comedian Steve Coogan for best adapted screenplay and as a producer in best film.

The film is based on the true story of a woman's search for the son she was forced to give up for adoption in 1950s' Ireland.

U2 are nominated for best original song for Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Sally Hawkins is nominated for best supporting actress for her work in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

American Hustle, a lauded crime caper, has been nominated for best picture and also gets nods for Christian Bale for best actor and Amy Adams for best actress.

The ceremony, in Los Angeles on March 2, will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.