2019 BAFTAs: Nominations Are Out and The 'Rising Star' Category is Particularly Black AF

(L-R): Lakeith Stanfield attends the InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party 2019 on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California; Letitia Wright attends the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2018 on November 18, 2018 in London, England; Cynthia Erivo attends the 12th Annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute on December 9, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Rich Fury (Getty Images), Jeff Spicer (Getty Images), Dominik Bindl (Getty Images)

It’s that time again: the film industry across the pond is staking their claim within awards season with The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards nominees for 2019.

Fun fact: some awards prediction experts also use what happens at the BAFTAs to determine what will happen at the Academy Awards because the two voting organizations typically agree. As prediction site Gold Derby noted, the BAFTAs has mirrored eight of the 17 Best Picture Oscar wins since its ceremony moved up in schedule to occur before the Academy Awards.


Unlike the sheer exclusivity of similarly lauded awards such as the Golden Globes and Oscars, the BAFTAs offer an award decided by the public called the EE Rising Star Award. Small catch though: you have to be a UK resident to vote. If you don’t know, now you know.

This year, we have three whole chances to blacken that shit up. Cynthia Erivo (Bad Times at the El Royale, Widows), Letitia Wright (Black Panther) and Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You) are all in the running to win the coveted award.

Coming from her Broadway background, Erivo smoothly transitioned to film and had some good looks this year. We’ll be expecting more from her this year with the films Chaos Walking, Needle in a Timestack, and the Tubman biopic, Harriet.

“I’m both delighted and grateful to BAFTA and the jury panel for nominating me for the 2019 EE Rising Star Award,” said Erivo. “It means a lot to be recognized for doing something that I love and I’m really looking forward to the ceremony in London.”


Outside of Atlanta, Stanfield gained attention in the trippy Boots Riley flick, Sorry to Bother You. He also appeared in The Girl in the Spider’s Web, the sequel to action thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. His upcoming resumé this year includes Knives Out, Uncut Gems, and Someone Great.

“I can’t begin to express my gratitude to BAFTA and the jury for this nomination,” stated Stanfield. “The calibre of previous EE Rising Star Award winners and nominees is incredible, and I feel honored to be counted among them. It’s a very proud moment indeed.”


As for Wright, not only did she portray the smartest person in the entire Marvel universe, she went on to appear in Avengers: Infinity War and Ready Player One in 2018. This year, the 25-year-old actress is set to appear in Hiro Murai’s Guava Island, starring Donald Glover and Rihanna, and will return to the Marvel franchise in Avengers: Endgame.


“It’s an incredible feeling to be chosen by BAFTA and the jury as a candidate for the EE Rising Star Award,” noted Wright. “It means a lot that my work has been recognized, especially in the country I’ve grown up in, and that I get to share this recognition with so many talented actors.”

Despite not having any Brit blood, I feel the need to go on record to say my personal pick is Letitia, who is having a stellar moment in her career right now.


BlacKkKlansman is also representing, scooping up Best Film and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations, as well as Spike Lee’s Best Director nom. Alarmingly enough, this year counts as his first nomination(s) under this category for a major award ceremony. He hasn’t had an Oscar nomination under that category (yet) and he also recently obtained his very first DGA Award nom. The fuck?


Golden Globe winner Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is still getting some love with a Best Animated Film nomination. That said, I’m side-eyeing the fact that there is no Ruth Carter love for costume design in Black Panther. Or for Hannah Bleacher’s production design? I’ve intimated this before, but at the very least, I expected Black Panther to get a couple more notable technical awards nominations and wins. It did, however, scoop up a nom for Best Special Visual Effects.

The 72nd British Academy Film Awards ceremony will be held on February 10, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PST. The full list of 2019 BAFTA Film Awards nominations can be viewed at BAFTA.org. For our UK readers: To vote for the EE Rising Star Award, click here.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.

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