The teenager is up for the Rising Star award, among Life of Pi’s nine nominations
Lending an Indian flavour to this year’s prestigious Bafta awards, which are regarded as Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars, is actor Suraj Sharma, who has been nominated for the Rising Star award for his role in director Ang Lee’s acclaimed film Life of Pi.
The teenaged actor from Delhi, who beat more than 3,000 contenders to land the starring role, is the only male actor nominated in this category along with five female artistes — Juno Temple, Andrea Riseborough, Elizabeth Olsen and Alicia Vikander.
Sharma’s performance in the challenging role of a boy who survives a perilous journey on a lifeboat with only a tiger for company has been widely praised, with Lee himself hailing him as a major new talent.
The film, based on Yann Martel’s Man-Booker-Prize-winning novel, is in contention for the Best Film with four others, including Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, which is based on the capture of Osama bin Laden.
Life of Pi has received the second-largest number of nominations — nine — after Lincoln, which leads the pack with ten, including ‘Best Actor’ for Daniel Day-Lewis. Lincoln dwells on the last months in the life of Abraham Lincoln, as the United States President struggled to end the Civil War and pass a constitutional amendment banning slavery.
Not to be left behind is Skyfall, which was nominated in eight categories, including the ‘Best British film’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ and actress for Javier Bardem and Judi Dench.
Ms. Bigelow, who became the first woman director to win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, said she was “immensely grateful”.
“When you’re making a film, you have no idea how it will be received, and I can assure you it is overwhelming to receive news like this,” she said.
Dame Helen Mirren, who has been nominated for ‘Best Actress’ for her role as Alfred Hitchcock’s wife in Hitchcock, said it was a “wonderful role” and she was “proud” to have been given the opportunity to play it.
Actor Hugh Jackman got the nomination for ‘Best Actor’ in Les Miserables, and Ann Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress in the same film.
Other major films in contention in various categories include Anna Karenina, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and Seven Psychopath.
The winners of the awards, given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, will be announced at a ceremony in London on February 10, two weeks before the Oscars.