Wednesday 20th January, London: Academy Award® winner Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina and The Danish Girl), actress and BAFTA Film Committee member Jo Hartley (Eddie the Eagle and After Life) and BAFTA-winning actress Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and The End of the F***ing World) joined the BAFTA EE Rising Star Award jury panel to select the shortlist for the 2021 Award.

Now in its sixteenth year, it is the only 2021 EE British Academy Film Awards category to be voted for by the British public. Celebrating new and up-and-coming talent within the industry, past recipients of the EE Rising Star Award have gone on to become household names and achieve some of cinema’s highest accolades. The prestigious list of previous winners includes James McAvoy, Eva Green, Juno Temple, Tom Hardy, Kristen Stewart, Noel Clarke, Jack O’Connell, Will Poulter, John Boyega, Tom Holland, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright and last year’s winner Micheal Ward.

For the first time in BAFTA EE Rising Star Award history, the jury meeting took place over video conferencing. The assembly saw the jury passionately deliberate over which five will go head-to-head in the public vote ahead of the 2021 EE British Academy Film Awards, which opens on Wednesday 3rd March 2021. The winner will be revealed at the ceremony on Sunday 11th April 2021.

Accompanying Naomi Ackie, Jo Hartley and Alicia Vikander on the jury panel were an outstanding line-up of industry experts, gathered digitally to debate the merits of the emerging talent longlist.

Chaired by EMMY-winning and BAFTA-nominated television producer and BAFTA Chair, Krishnendu Majumdar, the panel also included producer and director Anand Tucker (The Girl with a Pearl Earring, Hilary and Jackie), casting directors Leo Davis (The Queen and A Very English Scandal), Nina Gold (Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Kings Speech) and Lucy Bevan (The Old Guard, An Education and Beauty and the Beast) as well as Creative Director Gaylene Gould. The jury was completed by prominent film and arts journalists.

Alicia Vikander said: “Being a BAFTA EE Rising Star nominee was a significant marker in my career and it is an honour and delight to deliberate the shortlist for this year’s award alongside the impressive panel of jurors. In what has been a tumultuous year for the industry, watching these new faces has given me hope and excitement for the years of film to come.”

Jo Hartley said: “Film has truly been an escape during this isolation period. Not only keeping me entertained but really inspiring me from a professional point of view. It is an absolute honour to join the EE Rising Star Award 2021 jury to celebrate the fresh faces on our screens and I cannot wait to see what this next generation of talent goes on to achieve. The Award is an enviable accolade, and I can’t wait for the public to see the shortlist.”

Naomi Ackie said: “It’s been a huge honour for me to deliberate over this year’s hugely talented candidates. It’s really been hard to pick just five actors for this year’s shortlist and I’m certain I’ll be enjoying all these actor’s work for a long time to come. The industry is bursting with talent and with the last year that we’ve collectively faced, I’m so grateful projects are still being made. For me and I’m sure many others, art, in its many mediums, is an important and needed respite while we adapt to our new reality.”

EE Rising Star Award jury chair and BAFTA Chair, Krishnendu Majumdar, said: “Showcasing and supporting new talent is hugely important to everything we do at BAFTA and the EE Rising Star Award is a fantastic opportunity to put some incredible up-and-coming talent in the spotlight. The calibre of previous nominees and winners has been outstanding, so I am delighted at the quality of entrants this year and it certainly made for a difficult decision-making process.”

Pete Jeavons, Marketing Communications Director at BT and EE, said: “As the only category to be voted for by the British public, we are proud to work alongside BAFTA to provide film fans with a voice at the 2021 EE British Academy Film Awards. Over the past 16 years, EE Rising Star Award nominees and winners have achieved enviable industry success and have provided us with some of the world’s most recognisable films.

“Whilst this years’ jury panel will be a different format to previous years, there has never been such an important time to celebrate the film industry and the entertainment and escapism that it provides in more trying times. We are more grateful than ever before to our panel of experts who have taken the time to watch all the films and provide their professional opinion on who will go on to capture the imagination of the British public.”

The EE Rising Star award was created in honour of the late Mary Selway. A highly respected and BAFTA award-winning casting director whose 36-year career saw her work on more than ninety films and work with leading directors such as Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood.

Mary’s work contributed to the creation of some of the silver screen’s most memorable characters and in 2001 she received BAFTA’s Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award.

The EE Rising Star Award shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 3rd March 2021, at which point public voting will open and be available to all UK residents at

The nominations for the EE British Academy Film Awards will be announced on Tuesday 9th March 2020, with the ceremony being broadcast on Sunday 11th April on BBC One.

EE has been a long-standing partner of the BAFTA Film Awards, working to bring film fans closer to the BAFTAs through the magic of technology. Since the partnership began, EE has not only worked with BAFTA to introduce the EE Rising Star Award which is now in its 16th year, but also used its award-winning network to create new and exciting opportunities for film fans to be part of the action on the red carpet.

For more information visit: #EERisingStar

Source: EE Newsroom