Screen International has revealed its Stars of Tomorrow, spotlighting the hottest up-and-coming actors and filmmakers. Now in its 12th year, the annual showcase spotlights up-and-coming actors, writers, directors and producers who will be making waves in the years to come.
Past Stars of Tomorrow selected by Screen include Benedict Cumberbatch (2004), Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (2005), Suffragette star Carey Mulligan, Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega (2011) and last year’s cover stars Taron Egerton, Olivia Cooke and Sam Keeley.
Stars of Tomorrow editor Fionnuala Halligan said: “It has been yet another exciting year for young British and Irish talent and yet another difficult selection in which I looked at around 400 valid candidates. This may be the first time you encounter these names, but it certainly won’t be the last. It’s our first year where we are presenting the Stars of Tomorrow at the BFI London Film Festival and hopefully they will benefit from the greater exposure. Some of the young talent are here with films in the festival already and more will return. We at Screen wish them well as they sail off into super stardom and we look forward to watching them as they shine."
Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega has been selected by the San Diego Film Festival as the recipient of its Rising Star Award. He will be presented the trophy at Variety‘s Night of the Stars Tribute on Oct. 1 at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in La Jolla, along with previously announced recipients Adrien Brody, Geena Davis and Brit Marling.
Now in its 14th year, the San Diego Film Festival will run from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
Boyega will also star in James Pondsoldt’s The Circle opposite Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. He also appeared in Imperial Dreams and Attack the Block.
Boyega is repped by WME, U.K. agency Identity Agency Group, and Hansen Jacobson & Teller.
The chief executive of Ofcom, Sharon White, has said broadcasters have to do more to represent the diverse nature of Britain today and not the country of “20, 30, or 40 years ago”.
White said reflecting the nation back to itself was important for the UK’s cultural wellbeing and part of a “compact” between broadcasters and the public. The lack of diversity both on and behind the screen of UK broadcasters has been the focus of campaigners including actor and writer Lenny Henry, with the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky pledging to improve the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people.
White said it was really important that society is reflected back in the programming.
Comedy legend Harry Enfield stars in a new Creative Skillset film highlighting the issues of diversity in television.
The film was premiered at the 2015 Guardian Edinburgh TV Festival at a Creative Skillset diversity networking drinks attended by many of the heavyweights of the TV industry and the Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey.
Harry stars as Haanes, a South African émigré who arrived in the UK in the late 1980s and then found work in television in this country. To say the very least, he has a rather backward and outdated view of the world – based around an era that we all thought had passed. Nevertheless Haanes sees many things that he recognises in the Television industry in 2015.
Also showcased at the networking event on Wednesday was a brochure Making TV more diverse that sets out some of the many ways that Creative Skillset and partners are helping change the face of television production by creating opportunities for people from a diverse range of backgrounds in a wide range of roles.
Check out the series promo for the 8th series of What's Up TV. Hosted by Jacqueline Shepherd and AJ King, the Sky 1 show will run for 6 weeks from Saturday 4th July at 1pm. Guests include Tablib Kweli, Jessica Wright from TOWIE, Tito Jackson and Hugh Dennis to name a few.
Nuzhat Ali and Sharma Walfall have won the Channel 4 and Northumbria University Writing for Television Award at the Northern Writers’ Awards ceremony in Newcastle this evening.
Launched by Northumbria University in partnership with Channel 4 as part of the Northern Writers’ Awards last November, the new award seeks to identify raw and diverse writing talent from the North of England. The award is one of the many initiatives launched as part of Channel 4’s 360 Degree Diversity Charter launched earlier this year.
Nuzhat and Sharma were selected from 264 entrants to win the award, which offers them the unique opportunity to be mentored through the script commissioning process with Lime Pictures and RED Production Company. As part of the judging process, six finalists pitched their ideas earlier this spring. From July 2015, the writers will spend ten months being mentored by Lime Pictures and RED Production Company.
Film Movement has acquired Olivier Award-winning playwright Debra Tucker Green’s feature film debut Second Coming, which stars Idris Elba and Nadine Marshall as a modern-day London couple who find themselves in the middle of a miracle.
Written and directed by Tucker Green, Second Coming follows Jackie (Marshall) and Mark (Elba), a middle- class couple who, along with their 11-year old son, Jerome (Kai Francis Lewis), must grapple with a unique situation. Jackie has just learned that she is pregnant, but she hasn’t been intimate with anyone for a long time, including her husband. She confides in her co-workers but takes a while before she tells Mark. When she finally breaks the news, Mark does not take it well, and the family must find a way to recover. Click here to watch the trailer.
Polly Hill, the BBC executive responsible for WolfHall, Poldark and The Missing, has been appointed the new controller of BBC drama commissioning, one of the most powerful jobs in UK television. Hill succeeds Ben Stephenson, who is leaving to join Star Wars director JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production company in the US.
Hill, who is currently head of independent drama at the BBC, has overseen productions including BBC1’s Poldark, The Missing, Ripper Street and Death in Paradise, and Wolf Hall, The Honourable Woman and The Shadow Line on BBC2.
Television newcomer Kascion Franklin has been tapped to play the lead role in Danny And The Human Zoo, BBC One’s upcoming 90 minute one-off drama which is inspired by the life of Lenny Henry and hails from Happy Valley indie Red Production Company.
Danny And The Human Zoo tell the story of Danny, a talented impressionist from a working class Jamaican family. When Danny wins a talent competition, he soon finds himself working the comedy circuit. Audiences can’t get enough and applaud Danny as he effortlessly morphs into Mohammed Ali, Tommy Cooper and Frank Spencer, eventually hitting the big time on TV. But when an unscrupulous manager takes advantage of Danny, he hits rock bottom. Having made his name by becoming other people, Danny has to save himself by finding out who he really is.
Kascion Franklin, repped by RED Talent Management, will lead the cast of the one-off drama as Danny. Other cast members include Lenny Henry (The Syndicate) as Danny’s dad Samson, Cecilia Noble (The Bill) as Danny’s mum Myrtle, Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who) as Danny’s Manager Jonesy, Richard Wilson (One Foot In The Grave) as promoter James Broughton and Mark Benton (Waterloo Road) as seasoned entertainer Syd Bolton.
The BFI (British Film Institute) has appointed Deborah Williams to the new role of diversity manager. Williams commences her role at the BFI on June 1 to help push forward its diversity agenda and augment the Three Ticks initiative across all BFI funding activities. Joining the BFI from Arts Council England (ACE) where she was senior officer, policy and research, equality and diversity, Williams will sit within the BFI Film Fund team and report directly to Film Fund director Ben Roberts.
Developed by the BFI and backed by UK producers’ association Pact, Three Ticks requires all recipients of BFI Lottery film production funding to demonstrate commitment to encouraging diverse representation across their workforces, creating opportunities for training and skills development and on-going career progression, and advancing the portrayal of under-represented stories and groups on screen. Williams’ responsibilities will include working with BFI head of production Fiona Morham to support producers of BFI-backed productions – of which there are an average of 25-30 per year – to implement the Three Ticks guidelines.
Roberts said he had been encouraged to see the industry engage with the Three Ticks guidelines introduced last year and said Williams had an “inspiring approach to diversity which is constructive and enabling”.
“Deborah’s appointment is the most important next step for us in supporting the implementation of the guidelines and working with the industry on addressing perceived challenges to diversity, as well as supporting us here at the BFI as we strive to diversify the UK’s filmmakers, the kind of stories told on film, and the audiences who enjoy them,” he added.
Williams said the BFI had “set the tone and shown real leadership around diversity in the industry”.
“Developing the three ticks, working with partners and supporting the industry as it rethinks and reimagines the world around us on film is an opportunity that I relish and am greatly looking forward to embracing,” she said of her new role.