The 2020 EE Rising Star Award nominees have been announced and Awkwafina, Jack Lowden, Kaitlyn Dever, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Micheal Wardare all up for the chance to win the award which is decided by a public vote and awarded at the 2020 Baftas.
Voting is now open (do it here) and everyone who votes will be in with a chance to win a VIP BAFTA experience. The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 2 February 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall.
This year’s EE Rising Star Award jury was chaired by Andrew Orr, managing director of film production company Independent, and included actors Vanessa Kirby, Cynthia Erivo and Gemma Whelan, film broadcaster Edith Bowman, film critic Anna Smith, producers Uzma Hasan, Marc Samuelson and Georgina Lowe, casting directors Nina Gold and Lucy Bevan, and other leading film industry experts. The nominees were announced by actor Tom Hiddleston, broadcaster Edith Bowman and BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry on Monday 6 January 2020 .
Here’s a rundown on the actors, and what they had to say about their nomination…
Nora Lum, known professionally as AWKWAFINA, has established herself on the big screen with her lead role in The Farewell, which has already earned her a 2020 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. She has also had supporting roles in big hitting films including Ocean’s 8, the all-female spinoff to the Ocean’s Trilogy, Crazy, Rich Asians and Jumanji: The Next Level. Her other upcoming films include Breaking News in Yuba County, The Prom and a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
Awkwafina, commenting on her nomination, said: “It’s truly an honour to be nominated for the EE Rising Star Award. I’m grateful to BAFTA and the jury for the nomination and that I am able to share this recognition with so many other talented actors and actresses.”
JACK LOWDEN first received widespread acclaim in 2011 for his role in The National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Black Watch. From there, he has played a variety of diverse and dynamic roles spanning both film and theatre, firmly cementing his place as one of the UK’s most exciting young talents. His film work includes standout turns in Dunkirk, Mary Queen of Scots, Fighting With My Family and Calibre, for which he won a BAFTA Scotland award. He has also won an Olivier Award for his role in Ghosts at the Almeida Theatre. His next film roles will be in Cordivae and Fonzo, which will see him team up again with Tom Hardy. He will also be starring alongside John Boyega and Letitia Wright, both previous EE Rising Star winners, in Steve McQueen’s upcoming anthology series Small Axe.
Jack Lowden, commenting on his nomination, said: “I would like to thank both BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2020 EE Rising Star Award. It’s a huge honour to be included amongst such talent – what a way to kick off the year. Thank you!”
KAITLYN DEVER has been praised for her lead role in Booksmart, where she was recognised by the Hollywood Critics Association as a young breakthrough artist. She has also received critical acclaim for her performance in Unbelievable, which has already earned her a 2020 Golden Globe nomination. Kaitlyn’s other notable roles have included Beautiful Boy, alongside Steve Carrell and Timothée Chalamet, and The Front Runner,opposite Hugh Jackman and Detroit, alongside former EE Rising Star winners John Boyega and Will Poulter. She is also currently in production forMonsterland, an anthology series opposite Jonathan Tucker.
Kaitlyn Dever, commenting on her nomination, said: “I am overjoyed to be recognized by BAFTA and the jury as an EE Rising Star nominee. I am so excited to be acknowledged for an award that celebrates the achievements of young talent who are also contributing to film in an impactful way. It’s so incredible to be included in the group of talent nominated today as well as those recognized as an EE Rising Star over the years. It’s quite an honour and one that I won’t ever forget.”
KELVIN HARRISON JR. was born and raised in New Orleans and initially studied jazz at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts before realising his passion for acting. From there, he has been cast in a range of challenging and diverse roles across the big and small screen. Kelvin has been praised for his title role in Luce, starring opposite Octavia Spencer, Tim Roth and Naomi Watts, and has already garnered early Oscar buzz for his role in upcoming drama Waves. Kelvin has also received critical acclaim for his supporting role in Oscar nominated Mudbound and his performance in It Comes At Night, which earned him a Gotham Independent Film award nomination for Breakthrough Actor.
Kelvin Harrison Jr., commenting on his nomination, said: “For the last few years I’ve followed this award and the nominees have always been made up of artists whose work challenges me and inspires me. I feel honoured to be counted among them.”
MICHEAL WARD recently starred in the highly anticipated Netflix series Top Boy, which was produced by Drake and earned breakthrough star Micheal widespread acclaim throughout the UK. Micheal has also earned praise from critics for his lead role in Paramount’s Blue Story, which follows the story of two young boys from opposing postcodes who quickly form a firm friendship that is tested when they wind up on rival sides of a street war. Micheal has also starred in BBC thriller series The A List, which was released internationally on Netflix.
Micheal Ward, commenting on his nomination, said: “The last two years have been unbelievable, and now to find out that my industry has recognised my work and put me up for the EE Rising Star Award, really is the most amazing thing to happen.”
The winner will be announced at the EE British Academy Film Awards on Sunday 2 February 2020 at the Royal Albert Hall.