We’ve just received word from the powers that be that the jury for the 2011 Orange Wednesday Rising Star Award at this years BAFTA Awards has been chosen and there’s quite a few familiar faces.

This year the jury will include fashion guru turned director, Tom Ford, Actor Peter Sarsgaard, Actress Natascha McElhone, casting director, Lucy Bevan who worked with Peter on An Education, director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Prince of Persia and the Sands of Time), Jamie Graham, deputy editor from Total Film and Robbie Collin, Film Editor for The News of the World, many of whom will be familiar with him on Twitter.  Ben Drew aka Plan B will act as Jury Spokesperson while all the above will be overseen by the Jury Chair, Finola Dwyer (producer – An Education, Me Without You, Backbeat and chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee).

The list goes on but I’ll let you read on if you want to find out more below in the official press release. We also have a short video with Peter Sarsgaard who tells us about his first big break in Boys Don’t Cry and how he enjoyed a good debate over the new rising stars.

Previous winners include Noel Clarke, Shia LaBeouf with the most recent winner at last year’s event being Kristen Stewart. Tradition dictates that the person who won it the previous year present the award to the following winner so will Stewart attend this year? I guess we’ll find out!

So, who are your rising stars of 2011? Let us know in the comments below. For me, it’s Hayley Atwell all the way!

Read on for the full press release:



Top talent join stars including Natascha McElhone and Peter Sarsgaard on the jury for Orange’s esteemed award

London, 2 November 2010: Last night, Ben Drew, aka Plan B, joined fellow jurors to cast their final votes for the 2011 Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award longlist. Orange’s accolade for up and coming talent is the only award at the Orange British Academy Film Awards to be voted for by the public. Voting opens when nominees are announced on 10 January 2011, via www.orange.co.uk/bafta

Ben Drew is better known in the music world as award-winning singer Plan B. However, Drew has built a wealth of experience working in the film industry from directing the short film Michelle to acting in films such as Harry Brown alongside Michael Caine, and Noel Clarke’s Adulthood and  In Autumn 2011 Ben will release his directorial debut Ill Manors, a gritty urban drama about respect and survival, set on the streets of East London. The film’s cast reads like a who’s who of the UK’s finest in rising talent, making Ben a natural choice for the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star jury.

Ben Drew comments: “It was a huge honour to be asked to be on the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award jury. My experience of casting for Ill Manors gave me an incredible insight into the amazing pool of young talent in the UK and made me feel inspired to create the projects that will allow me to work with them. I have also been lucky enough to star alongside some of these guys over the years so I am looking forward to bringing this insight and inspiration along to the jury.”

Tom Ford is another of this year’s multi-talented jurors, an icon in the world of fashion and highly respected within the film industry after his award-winning directorial debut A Single Man hit our screens this year.

Tom Ford said: “I am honored to have been asked to be on the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star jury. This is such an important award in that it supports the new generation of actors and actresses and also reflects the tastes of the cinema going public – who ultimately are the best ones to judge who they want to see more of on their screens.”

Now in its sixth year, the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award has set a standard for identifying talent destined for super stardom. Previous winners include James McAvoy in 2006, Eva Green in 2007, Shia LaBeouf in 2008, Noel Clarke in 2009 and Kristen Stewart in 2010. Potential rising stars were proposed by BAFTA members and film industry insiders to create an initial list of contenders. The jury, consisting of actors, casting directors, film directors, media representatives and chaired by a member of the BAFTA Film Committee, then selects a longlist of eight. These eight will be voted on by Orange Wednesdays customers, who will determine the final five nominees. The nominees will then go up for public vote in January to decide the winner.

Finola Dwyer, jury chair for the award, comments: “We have a very esteemed jury this year from director Tom Ford, who made such a dazzling directing debut last year with A Single Man to Peter Sarsgaard and Ben Drew. Many of the jury have discovered, worked alongside or supported rising stars throughout their careers. The distinguished jury is a reflection of the importance and high regard the film industry places on the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award.”

This year’s Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award jury is made up of:  Ben Drew (director and musician), Lucy Bevan (casting director), Tom Ford (director), Peter Sarsgaard (actor), Natascha McElhone (actress), Mike Newell (director), Laura Symons (publicist), Charles Gant (film journalist), Jamie Graham (Total Film), Larushka Ivan-Zadeh (Metro), Hannah Marriott (Grazia), Geoff Lloyd (Absolute Radio) and Robbie Collin (News of the World). The jury is chaired by Oscar-nominated producer Finola Dwyer.

The award honours a young actor or actress whose talent has inspired popular acclaim from the British public. BAFTA members and the film industry were invited to recommend up and coming performers who have appeared in several feature films, with at least one of those films released in the current awards year, 1 January to 31 December 2010. The award has been renamed the Orange Wednesdays Rising Star award this year, to reflect the new level of involvement that Orange Wednesdays customers will play in deciding upon the final five that will go up for the public vote.

The award was created in honour of Mary Selway, the highly respected BAFTA-winning casting director whose career spanned three decades and over ninety films before she died in 2004. She worked with notable directors such as Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood and Ridley Scott, contributing to the creation of some of the silver screen’s most memorable characters.