The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA) became the latest East Coast critics group to honour Kathryn Bigelow and her Osama Bin Laden film. A varied winners’ roster also rewarded Cloud Atlas and ParaNorman.

Zero Dark Thirty earned best film while Bigelow picked up her second best director honour from the group after she became its first female recipient for The Hurt Locker three years ago.

The film’s Jessica Chastain’s awards momentum continued to gather pace too as she earned her latest best actress prize. Daniel Day-Lewis’ portrayal of Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln won him another best actor honour.

Anne Hathaway was named best supporting actress for Les Miserables, which also claimed the best acting ensemble prize, while Philip Seymour Hoffman took best supporting actor for The Master.

David O Russell won best adapted screenplay for Silver Linings Playbook and Rian Johnson took the original screenplay award for Looper. ParaNorman entered the awards race by winning best animation.

Michael Haneke’s Amour was named best foreign film, Bully was anointed best documentary and Cloud Atlas picked up the best art direction award for Uli Hanisch and Hugh Bateup (production designers) and Peter Walpole and Rebecca Alleway (set decorators).

Claudio Miranda earned the best cinematography prize for his work on Life Of Pi, Jonny Greenwood took the best score award for The Master and Quvenzhane Wallis of Beasts Of The Southern Wild earned the inaugural Joe Barber Award for Best Youth Performance.

“In a year full of strong films,” said WAFCA president Tim Gordon, “director Kathryn Bigelow’s bold and audacious vision, represented in our best picture winner, is the perfect political story for our members in the District Of Columbia. This story, told with steely, cold effectiveness, is a worthy entry into WAFCA’s best picture canon and a cinematic achievement that we are proud to honour.”