• BAFTA winner Vanessa Kirby joined Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan, 2019 EE Rising Star Award nominee Cynthia Erivo and film broadcaster Edith Bowman to choose the EE Rising Star Award shortlist for 2020
  • Chaired by Andrew Orr, member of the BAFTA Film Committee, the prestigious jury panel also included casting directors Nina Gold (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Lucy Bevan (Beauty and the Beast) as well as producers Uzma Hasan (FirstBorn) and Georgina Lowe (Cordelia)
  • The EE Rising Star Award celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2020 with previous winners including Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, John Boyega, Tom Hardy and Kristen Stewart
  • The shortlist will be announced on Monday 6th January 2020 when voting will open to the British public at

Tuesday 29th October, London: BAFTA-winning actress Vanessa Kirby, Game of Thrones actress Gemma Whelan and film broadcaster Edith Bowman joined the EE Rising Star Award jury panel to help decide on the shortlist for the 2020 award.

Celebrating its fifteenth year, recipients of the EE Rising Star Award are some of the most exciting actors and actresses to grace the silver screen. It is the only award at the British film ceremony to be voted for by the British public and is held in high regard, with previous nominees and winners enjoying huge success at the box office, including Daniel Kaluuya, Noel Clarke, Tom Hardy, James McAvoy, John Boyega, Eva Green, Juno Temple, Kristen Stewart, Jack O’Connell, Will Poulter, Tom Holland, and last year’s winner, Letitia Wright.

Meeting at The Savoy Hotel in London, the jury hotly debated which five nominees deserve to go head to head and face the public vote ahead of the 2020 EE British Academy Film Awards. The shortlist will be announced on Monday 6th January and the winner will be revealed at the EE BAFTAs on Sunday 2nd February.

Joining Vanessa Kirby, Gemma Whelan and Cynthia Erivo on the jury panel at The Savoy were an outstanding line-up of industry experts, all gathered to discuss the longlist of emerging talent. 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). The jury was completed by prominent film and arts journalists including broadcaster Edith Bowman and film critic Anna Smith.

Vanessa 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!”

Gemma 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.”

Cynthia 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!”

Edith Bowman said: “Every year this category outdoes itself with so many talented fresh faces; jurors always come to the table with strong ideas about who they believe is deserving and when the acting is as good as it is this year, it always makes for an interesting discussion. What I love about this award is that the public, the film fans, get to have the final say, so it’s a very important award.”

EE Rising Star Award jury chair, 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.”

The award was created in honour of the late Mary Selway. One of the film industry’s most respected casting directors, her 36-year career saw her working with and leading directors such as Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott, contributing to the creation of some of the silver screen's most memorable characters. In 1999 Selway received the Michael Balcon Award from BAFTA for outstanding contribution to British film.

The EE Rising Star Award nominees will be announced on Monday 6th January, at which point public voting will open and be available to all UK residents at

EE has been a long-standing partner of the BAFTA Film Awards for the past 23 years, 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 15th 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.

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EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, offering superfast 4G in more places than any other operator. EE brought the first 4G network to the UK in October 2012, and launched the UK’s first 5G network in May 2019

EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being named the UK's best network every year since 2015 at The Mobile Choice Awards, The Mobile News Awards, The Mobile Industry Awards and by RootMetrics®.

As well as offering mobile services to consumers and small and medium businesses, EE also provides home and business broadband using both 4G and fixed line connections. Today, EE’s retail presence exceeds more than 600 shops across the UK.

EE is committed to being number one for service in the industry. It remains the only mobile provider to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK and Ireland, and was recognised as the UK’s Best Large Contact Centre by the UK Customer Experience Awards 2018 and Welsh Contact Centre Awards 2019. EE was awarded The Sunday Times’ Best 100 Companies to Work for in 2018 and 2019, as well as being named Best Employer 2018 by the European Contact Centre & Customer Service awards.

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit