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Sheila Atim, Naomi Ackie and Daryl McCormack among Nominees 2023 EE Rising Star Award: voting is now open

Sheila Atim, Naomi Ackie and Daryl McCormack among Nominees 2023 EE Rising Star Award: voting is now open

  • The EE Rising Star Award nominees for 2023 are: Naomi Ackie, Sheila Atim, Aimee Lou Wood, Emma Mackey and Daryl McCormack
  • Nominees were selected by a panel of industry jurors including actors Hayley Atwell, Joe Cole and Jason Flemyng, as well as a host of celebrated casting directors, producers and industry experts
  • Celebrating its 18th year, the prestigious EE Rising Star Award is the only award at EE BAFTAs voted for by the British public with voting now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA
  • The winner will be announced on Sunday 19th February 2023 at the EE BAFTA Film Awards ceremony, aired on BBC One and BBC iPlayer

Today, the five nominees for this year’s prestigious EE Rising Star Award, now in its 18th year, were announced during a press conference at The Savoy Hotel in London.

SHEILA ATIM stars in the recently released historical epic feature film The Woman King, alongside Academy Award-winner Viola Davis, and previous EE Rising Star winners, Lashana Lynch and John Boyega. 2022 also saw Sheila’s debut in the Marvel cinematic universe, appearing as ‘Sara’ in Doctor Strange & The Multiverse of Madness alongside Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen. Sheila has made a considerable impact on the London theatre scene, not only as an actress but also as a singer, playwright and composer. In 2018, Sheila won the Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her breakout performance as ‘Marianne Laine’ in Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic Theatre. She was also named as a Screen Star of Tomorrow in 2021, one of Variety’s ’10 Brits to Watch’ in 2020 and was awarded an MBE for services to drama in 2019.

Sheila Atim, commenting on her nomination, said: “I’m grateful to the EE Rising Star Award for continuing to highlight the contributions of emerging talent in our industry. This public-voted award is truly an award of the people and a joyous celebration between artist and audience. Thank you to BAFTA for listing me alongside this year’s wonderful group, adding to the esteemed rostrum of nominees past.”

The press conference was hosted by BAFTA CEO Jane Millichip and film broadcaster Edith Bowman who revealed the highly anticipated 2023 nominee shortlist. The nominees consist of five actors who have each demonstrated their remarkable talent in film over the past year, having captured the imagination of both the public and film industry alike.

The EE Rising Star Award nominees for 2023 are:

NAOMI ACKIE can currently be seen in cinemas, taking on the iconic role of global superstar ‘Whitney Houston’ in Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, a new feature film about the late singer’s life. The BAFTA award winning actor has also most recently completed filming a leading role in Zoë Kravitz’s directorial debut Pussy Island, as well as for Mickey 17, from award-winning Parasite director Bong Joon-Ho, alongside Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Pattinson. In 2019, Naomi took on the role of ‘Jannah’ in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final instalment in the Skywalker saga, for which she was selected by The Hollywood Reporter for its ‘Next Generation’ portfolio, People Magazine for its ‘Ones to Watch’ and ELLE Magazine for its ‘Hollywood Rising’ section. For television, she took on a leading role and served as Executive Producer in the third series of the multi-award-winning Master of None and in 2020 won a BAFTA award for her role of ‘Bonnie’ in the second series of the cult television series The End of the F

  • ***ing World. Naomi also won a British Independent Film Award for ‘Most Promising Newcomer’ and was named as one of Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2017 for her film debut and ‘quietly stunning role’ of ‘Anna’ in Lady Macbeth.

Naomi Ackie commenting on her nomination, said: “I’ve followed and been inspired by the EE BAFTA Film Awards for so many years, so to be recognised amongst this incredible group of artists is HUGE! This nod from the EE Rising Star jury, and to be recognised for my work in the country that I’ve grown up in, is also a nod of encouragement, to continue to create stories that speak to people. What a beautiful experience to be a part of.”

AIMEE LOU WOOD is a BAFTA award-winning actress best known for her portrayal of ‘Aimee Gibbs’ in television series 1 to 3 of Sex Education. Aimee stars alongside Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa and Gillian Anderson in the show and won a BAFTA for ‘Best Female Comedy Performance’ for her role. Most recently, Aimee appeared in Oliver Hermanus’ latest feature, Living, currently in cinemas across the UK and USA, starring Bill Nighy. Living premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2022 and has since been screened at Venice, Toronto and London Film Festival to largely critical praise. Prior to this, Aimee played ‘Claire Wain’ in The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, directed by Will Sharpe, narrated by Olivia Colman and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. Aimee was also recently nominated for a BAFTA Cymru Award for ‘Best Actress’ for her performance in On The Edge: Mincemeat. Aimee is about to start her run as ‘Sally Bowles’ in Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club, and prior to this starred in Uncle Vanya at The Harold Pinter Theatre, receiving critical acclaim.

Aimee Lou Wood, commenting on her nomination, said“I am totally thrilled! Thank you BAFTA and EE. I love how this special award draws attention to emerging talent and I’m always so excited to see who the nominees are when they’re announced. To be included this year is very surprising and a real pinch me moment. I feel extremely grateful and moved to be here amongst such wonderful people!”

EMMA MACKEY is a BAFTA nominated French / British actor with multiple film and television projects in development. Next, Emma features in Barbie opposite Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, scheduled for worldwide release in July. Currently, audiences in the UK can see Emma as the titular character in Emily, a film re-imagining the life of Emily Brontë. Emily had its World Premiere when it opened the Platform Competition at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and will release in the US this spring. Emma is perhaps best known for her BAFTA-nominated leading role as ‘Maeve Wiley’ in the television series, Sex Education alongside Ncuti Gatwa and Aimee Lou Wood. Last year Emma starred in her first French language role, that of ‘Adrienne Bourgès’ in the César nominated Eiffel, and also appeared as ‘Jacqueline de Bellefort’ in Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile, starring Gal Gadot, Tom Bateman and Ali Fazal. 

Emma Mackey, commenting on her nomination, said: “I am so grateful to BAFTA and EE for including me in this category. Being able to tell stories and make films is already such a blessing. To be nominated alongside these wonderful actors and for us all to be noticed by such a respected and inspiring institution is very humbling indeed.”

DARYL MCCORMACK is well known for his lead role in British comedy-drama Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, opposite Emma Thompson. Following the film’s premiere at Sundance Film Festival 2022, it was released in UK cinemas in November to critical acclaim. Up next for Daryl is the thriller feature The Tutor, alongside Richard E Grant and Julie Delpy for Bleecker Street. Daryl also joined the season 5 cast of Peaky Blinders as a preacher’s son, taking over the role of ‘Isaiah Jesus’ from Jordan Bolger, and returned for the 6th iteration aired on the BBC in February 2022. Last year, Daryl then featured as ‘Matt Cafflin’ in Sharon Horgan’s dark comedy television series, Bad Sisters. Up next for Daryl is a co-lead role in the television series, The Woman in the Wall, alongside Ruth Wilson. Daryl was named by Screen International as one of their 2021 ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, and The Hollywood Reporter for its 2022 ‘Next Gen’ talent list.

Daryl McCormack commenting on his nomination, said: “For as long as I can remember, I have followed those recognised by the BAFTA EE Rising Star category as a source of inspiration. To hear that I stand in the company of the past and present nominees is an incredible honour. Thank you, sincerely, to the jury.”

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This year, the EE Rising Star Award jury panel was tasked with selecting the 2023 nominees from a comprehensive list of talented actors. The jury met at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in November where they whittled down the longlisted names to the five nominees that will go head-to-head in the public vote ahead of the 2023 EE BAFTA Film Awards.

The jury, chaired by Anna Higgs, BAFTA Film Committee Chair, featured actors Hayley Atwell, Joe Cole and Jason Flemyng, casting directors Lucy Bevan (The Batman), Leo Davis (The Queen and A Very English Scandal) and senior talent agent Ikki El-Amriti (Identity Agency Group), alongside leading industry specialists and film, arts and entertainment journalists.

Edith Bowman, EE Rising Star Award broadcaster, said: “It’s an honour to be back at The Savoy to reveal the nominees for this year’s EE Rising Star Award; the calibre of the nominees is extraordinary, what a collection of talent. I would encourage all film fans out there to take the time to check out the nominees’ films if they haven’t already; it’s an incredible line up for 2023.”

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director at EE, added: “At 26 years, our partnership with the BAFTA Film Awards is the longest standing cultural partnership in the UK. We are as excited as ever to be revealing the 2023 EE Rising Star Award nominees. We take huge pride in playing a role in recognising the film industry’s emerging talent and are absolutely delighted to honour these five actors that have graced our screens over the last 12 months. I urge everyone to go online and vote.”

Jane Millichip, CEO at BAFTA, said: “Recognising and supporting creative talent is of the upmost importance to us at BAFTA which is why we are delighted to continue our partnership with EE and the EE Rising Star Award. This year’s five nominees have displayed a breath-taking ability to tell stories and create characters that resonate with their audiences, and it’s now up to the British public to decide who will take home the award on 19th February.”

Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the EE BAFTA Film Awards which will be broadcast on Sunday 19th February 2023 at 19:00-21:00hrs on BBC One and iPlayer, from the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London.