About Time and The Crown star Vanessa Kirby, Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan and 2019 nominee Cynthia Erivo have helped draw up the shortlist for next year’s EE Rising Star Award.
Now in its fifteenth year, the award is presented at the BAFTA Film Awards and is the only honour awarded at the ceremony which is voted on by the public.
As well as celebrating emerging talent, the Rising Star Award honours celebrated casting director Mary Selway whose 36-year career saw her working with and leading directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott and contributing to the creation of some of the silver screen’s most memorable characters.
Kirby, Whelan, Erivo – who dialled in from LA to take part ahead of the premier for her new film Harriet – plus film broadcaster Edith Bowman joined a panel of industry experts at the Savoy Hotel this morning to decide which five nominees will go forward to the public vote next year.
The shortlist will be announced on Monday 6th January at which point public voting will open and be available to all UK residents at ee.co.uk/BAFTA.
The jury was chaired by Andrew Orr, Managing Director of film production company Independent, and a member of the BAFTA Film Committee.
It also included acclaimed casting directors Lucy Bevan (Beauty and the Beast, Maleficent and Murder on the Orient Express) and Nina Gold (The Crown and Game of Thrones); producers Uzma Hasan (The Infidel and FirstBorn), Marc Samuelson (producer, White Mischief and 1984 and BAFTA Film Committee Chair) and Georgina Lowe (Peterloo, Happy-Go-Lucky and Another Year).
Kirby said: “It’s been an absolute honour being asked to be a part of this impressive panel of jurors and help make the final decision of who the shortlist will be for the EE Rising Star Award 2020.
“Today will be tough because we will all be going in with strong opinions on who our favourites are – and the talent is outstanding this year, so I can’t wait to hear the rest of the panel’s thoughts!”
Whelan said: “Being asked to sit on the panel for the EE Rising Star Award is an enormous responsibility and huge honour.
“Watching so many films has been such a pleasure and I’m really looking forward to getting in the room and discussing the performances with the other jurors.”
Erivo said: “I was nominated for the EE Rising Star Award last year, so I know just how important this category is and what it means to be nominated.
“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to have a say in this year’s jury discussion and can’t wait to debate this year’s extraordinarily talented candidates!”
Andrew Orr, said: “New talent is the lifeblood of the British Film industry and the EE Rising Star Award is a fantastic opportunity to put some incredible young talent in the spotlight.
“The calibre of previous nominees and winners has been outstanding, so I am delighted at the quality of actors and actresses this year and expect a difficult decision-making process today”
Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director at EE, said: “Celebrating its 15th year, the EE Rising Star Award remains one of the most talked about awards at the BAFTA Film Awards ceremony and one of the most important elements of our long-standing partnership with BAFTA.
“Its impact comes down to the fact that it is the only award at the ceremony to be voted for by the British public. The many actors and actresses who have taken this title have all gone on to enjoy great success in the industry, creating an amazing body of work for film fans to enjoy.
“On this anniversary, we are as grateful as ever to the panel of experts who have all spent hours watching the films, debating and discussing the next group of candidates set to rise up through the ranks.”