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Tom Holland and Sharon Rooney among BAFTA's Breakthrough Brits

Tom Holland

Story by Jack Foley

TOM Holland and Sharon Rooney are among 17 talented newcomers who have been singled out by BAFTA for its first list of ‘Breakthrough Brits’.

The shortlist was compiled by a jury of industry experts with the intention of recognising those who have been making a name for themselves in the worlds of film, television and gaming.

Holland made a name for himself in tsnami film The Impossible, starring alongside Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts.

He has also played Billy Elliot in the West End musical and was recently cast as the young lead in the new Ron Howard film, In The Heart of the Sea.

Rooney, meanwhile, shot to prominence in hit E4 show My Mad Fat Diary. The 24-year-old from Glasgow plays teen heroine Rae Earl in the comedy, which has a second series on the way in the New Year.

Joining them on the list is Paul Brannigan, whose performance in Ken Loach film The Angels’ Share won him praise, nominations and a best actor prize at the British Academy Scotland Awards.

The 27-year-old Glaswegian will next be seen in Edinburgh-set musical Sunshine on Leith, directed by Dexter Fletcher, and with Scarlett Johannson in Under The Skin.

Three other actors to make the shortlist are 28-year-old James Floyd, who won widespread acclaim for his performance in My Brother The Devil, for which he received the Best Newcomer award at the 2012 British Independent Film Awards, Ade Oyefeso, 20, who recently starred in hit E4 series Youngers and who will be making his movie debut alongside Sean Penn and Idris Elba in The Gunman, and Chloe Pirrie, 26, who stood out in Shell, which won Best Film at Torino Film Festival and saw her nominated for Best British Newcomer at the 2012 BFI London Film Festival. She is currently shooting major new BBC Drama The Game, directed by Niall McCormack.

Former Royal Marine Arthur Williams is recognised for his TV work after receiving rave reviews as a presenter on Channel 4’s Bafta-winning coverage of the Paralympic Games. Williams was paralysed from the waist down in a car crash in 2007.

Commenting on this year’s recipients, BAFTA chairman John Willis said they hoped to “turbocharge” the careers of those on the list, “who are just at the point of breaking through to the next level and becoming really serious players in their industry”.

The Breakthrough Brits will be celebrated at a new talent showcase at BAFTA on October 21, 2013.

This Is England writer and director Shane Meadows and actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were on the panel.

The shortlist is made up of…

Rowan Athale – writer/director
Ed Barratt – producer
Paul Brannigan – actor
Oliver Clarke – game developer
Rex Crowle – game designer
James Floyd – actor
Sophia George – game designer
Tom Holland – actor
Mitu Khandaker – game developer
Dominic Mitchell – writer
Ade Oyefeso – actor
Nisha Parti – producer
Dan Pearce – game developer
Chloe Pirrie – actress
Sharon Rooney – actress
Zam Salim – writer/director
Arthur Williams – broadcaster