BAFTA has announced the nominees for its annual Rising Star award, to be handed out at next month’s film awards ceremony.
Members of the film-going public will have to choose from a list which will please commentators who monitor diversity, with only one white man on the list.
Vying to follow in the footsteps of recent winners – including Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya last year, the latest Spider-Man Tom Holland, who won in 2017 and Star Wars and Detroit star John Boyega from the previous year – are five up-and-coming performers, some of whom have already collected high profile awards in other arenas.
British Widows star Cynthia Erivo already has an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony to her name, but this would be her first major film honour.
Another British actress, forging her career in the US – after appearing in Channel 4’s sci-go drama Humans – is Black Panther star Letitia Wright.
The American rapper Lakeith Stanfield has been making a name for himself on the small screen in Atlanta and in features including Straight Outta Compton, Get Out, Sorry to Bother You and the somewhat less impressive The Girl in the Spider’s Web.
The one white man in the running is young Irishman Barry Keoghan, who first hit the limelight as the creepy antagonist in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, before going on to feature in Dunkirk and taking the lead role in American Animals.
And as a sign of just how long it can take for a star to rise, Jessie Buckley’s career was launched in 2008 when, as a 17 year old, she came second in the BBC show I’d Do Anything, which was searching for an actress to play Nancy in a West End production of Oliver! Last year, after a string of performances on stage and in BBC TV dramas, the Irish actress won the equivalent prize at the British Independent Film Awards for her starring role in Beast.
The winner will be announced at the BAFTA ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th February.