The BAFTA Announce Their 2021 Rising Stars Nominees

Today, the five nominees for the renowned EE Rising Star Award with  Bukky Bakray, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Morfydd Clark, Ṣọpẹ́ Dirisu and Conrad Khan will fight out the prestigious award.

The announcement made this morning via livestream at London’s Savoy Hotel by 2014 EE Rising Star nominee George MacKay (1917).


Bukky Bakray 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.

Bakray commenting on her nomination, said: “I honestly feel so blessed to be recognised so early on in my career. I still can’t believe this, I’m not sure I ever will either. All the warmth and love from BAFTA and EE is beautiful and I’m grateful. Thank you.”

Conrad 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.

Khan, commented on his nomination, said: “‘A huge thank you to BAFTA for this nomination! I am so excited and proud to be in such great company – the EE Rising Star Award is something I never would have even dreamt of at the start of my career. I am really looking forward to being part of this year’s awards. It is an honour.”

Kingsley 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.

It’s an honour to be picked as a BAFTA EE Rising Star. I have always had great respect for this award and have admired the selection each year, so to be in this category, and to be recognised in this way, means a lot. Thank you.” commented Ben-Adir

Morfydd Clark has been singled out by critics for her breath-taking performance in Rose Glass’s award-winning debut Saint Maud. Hailed as the ‘Star of Tomorrow’ by Screen International, Morfydd was identified by The Guardian as the ‘Breakout Star’ of the 2019 festival circuit and 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.

Clark, commented “I’m delighted and disbelieving that I have been nominated for such a prestigious award by BAFTA and the EE Rising Star jury, thank you to all who compiled the list of nominees. I am honoured to be recognised amongst this group of talented, British actors. It has been a difficult year for many people and I hope the next few months will bring hope and a brighter future for the arts.

ṢỌPẸ́ 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/AMC series, Gangs of London.

Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù commenting on his nomination, said: “The history of the EE Rising Star Award is full of such exceptional and inspirational talents and I’m so grateful to both EE and BAFTA for considering me amongst them. I’m properly delighted for all my fellow nominees for being recognised in what can only be described as a difficult and challenging year for everyone across the world.”

Voting is now open at ee.co.uk/BAFTA and the winner will be announced at the EE BAFTA Film Awards on Sunday 11th April 2021 on BBC One.