Birthday girl Lupita Nyong'o and her movie 12 Years A Slave were the toast of the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California on Saturday (01Mar14).

On the eve of the Oscars, the stars braved torrential rain at the beach and watched Steve MCQueen's movie adaptation of Solomon Northup's slave drama pick up five of the biggest awards, including Best Feature, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Nyong'o).

Otherwise, it was an afternoon of favourites - Cate Blanchett and Dallas Buyers Club co-stars Matthew MCConaughey and Jared Leto picked up the rest of the acting prizes.

But the big talking point was Paula Patton, who made her first red carpet since announcing her marriage split from Robin Thicke.

The full list of winners is:

Best Feature: 12 Years a Slave

Best Director: Steve MCQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Best Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska

Best First Feature: Fruitvale Station

Best First Screenplay: Bob Nelson, Nebraska

John Cassavetes Award: This Is Martin Bonner

Best Female Lead: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Best Male Lead: Matthew MCConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Female: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Cinematography: Sean Bobbitt, 12 Years a Slave

Best Documentary: 20 Feet from Stardom

Best International Film: Blue Is the Warmest Color

Robert Altman Award: Mud

Piaget Producers Award: Toby Halbrooks and James M. Johnston

Someone to Watch Award: Shaka King, Newlyweeds

Truer than Fiction Award: Jason Osder, Let the Fire Burn