BAFTA unveils 2021 Rising Star Award nominees
Staff Reporter | On 03, Mar 2021
BAFTA has unveiled the five nominees for the 2021 Rising Star Award: Bukky Bakray, Conrad Khan, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark and Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù.
2014 EE Rising Star nominee George MacKay announced the names this morning, with the all-British line-up featuring in some of the highest-profile streaming titles of the past year, including Rocks and His House, both available on Netflix UK, and Amazon Studios’ One Night in Miami.
A multi-award-nominated actress who received critical acclaim for her debut lead performance in breakout hit Rocks, directed by Sarah Gavron. As well as her nomination for the EE Rising Star Award, she has received nominations from the British Independent Film Awards (BIFA) and London Critics Circle, and has been longlisted in BAFTA’s ‘Leading Actress’ category for 2021. She is part of this year’s BAFTA Breakthrough programme and has been named as a rising star to watch by Time Out and Dazed 100. Bukky’s passion for acting continues to grow having completed a year-long course as part of RADA Youth Company. She is currently enrolled on Theatre Peckham’s Originate Acting Course, where young performers receive specialist actor training with top-tier drama schools, Guildhall School and RADA, and industry professionals.
Khan is best known for his highly acclaimed role as Tyler, in Henry Blake’s 2020 feature film, County Lines. A performance that has earnt him a BIFA nomination for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ as well as Screen International Star of Tomorrow. Conrad’s first role came in 2016 as a young Chris Hemsworth (Eric) in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and he has most recently been cast as a lead in the final series of the BAFTA award-winning Peaky Blinders, opposite Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson.
Ben-Adir is the breakout star of Regina’s King’s directorial debut film One Night in Miami and has been making headlines with his captivating portrayal of Malcolm X. The film has received three Golden Globe nominations, with Kingsley picking up the prestigious ‘Breakthrough Actor’ Award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards and the ‘Breakthrough Performer’ by the New York Film Critics (NYFCO). He has also been longlisted in BAFTA’s ‘Leading Actor’ category for 2021. Kingsley’s career started on the stage, in plays including Mark Rylance’s Much Ado About Nothing at The Old Vic. On screen, he most recently starred opposite Zoe Kravitz in the Hulu series High Fidelity, played a co-lead role in Season 3 of Netflix’s The OA, played Colonel Ben Younger in the BBC/Netflix drama Peaky Blinders, and starred in films The Commuter, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Trespass Against Us.
Clark has been singled out by critics for her breathtaking performance in Rose Glass’s award-winning debut Saint Maud. She has gone on to win the London Critic’s Circle Award for ‘British/Irish Actress of the Year’, be nominated for a BIFA award in the category of ‘Best Actress’ and has also been longlisted in BAFTA’s ‘Leading Actress’ category for 2021. Morfydd appeared as both ‘Dora Spenlow’ and ‘Clara Copperfield’ in Armando Iannucci’s The Personal History of David Copperfield, and as ‘young Jane’ in Craig Robert’s Eternal Beauty opposite Sally Hawkins in 2020. She is currently in New Zealand filming a lead role in Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings.
Dìrísù can currently be seen on Netflix in Remi Weekes’ horror/thriller, His House, which earned him ‘Critic’s Choice Super’ and BIFA award nominations for ‘Best Actor’, and in the Sky Atlantic/AMC series, Gangs of London. Previous film credits include war drama, Sand Castle, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, as well as Ariel Vromen’s sci-fi thriller, Criminal. On television, most notably, Dìrísù was seen in AMC’s Humans and in Netflix’s series, Black Mirror, for which he received the ‘Rising Star Award’ for the Screen Nation Film and Television Awards. He has been selected as a Screen International ‘Star of Tomorrow’ and in 2017 received a Commendation at the Ian Charleson Awards for his performance as Coriolanus at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Ṣọpẹ́ is currently in Ireland shooting a lead role in Mr Malcolm’s List. Upcoming releases include Mothering Sunday with Olivia Colman and Colin Firth, Tim Felhbaum’s Berlinale Special Tides and Silent Night with Kiera Knightley and Matthew Goode.
Public voting for the category is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be revealed at the EE British Academy Film Awards on 11th April 2021. The BAFTAs will be broadcast on BBC One.