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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 January 2006, 00:24 GMT
Britons up for 'new star' award
James McAvoy
James McAvoy stars in TV's Shameless
British actors James McAvoy and Chiwetel Ejiofor are in contention for the new Orange Rising Star award at this year's Baftas.

Mean Girls star Rachel McAdams, former Dawson's Creek actress Michelle Williams and Mexican-born Gael Garcia Bernal have also made the shortlist.

The five nominees were chosen by a panel which included Cate Blanchett and Sir Alan Parker.

The eventual winner will be chosen by a public vote.

The Bafta film awards will be held in London on 19 February, with nominees for the main categories announced on 19 January.

The new award recognises young actors who have impressed in roles in the past year.

Rachel McAdams
Rachel McAdams recently starred in thriller Red Eye

McAvoy, who appeared in TV comedy Shameless, starred as Mr Tumnus in the big screen adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Uniquely placed

London-born Chiwetel Ejiofor was noted for his performances in Kinky Boots and Serenity as well as past credits in Love Actually and Dirty Pretty Things, while Garcia Bernal played Che Guevara in The Motorcycle Diaries.

Canadian actress McAdams rose to fame in teen comedy Mean Girls and has since starred in a string of hit movies including Red Eye, The Notebook and The Wedding Crashers.

Actress Williams has impressed critics with her performance in Brokeback Mountain, playing the wife of a gay cowboy. She met co-star Heath Ledger on the set of the film and they now have a daughter.

Bafta chairman Duncan Kenworthy said: "The Orange Rising Star Award is a significant new award that asks the public to judge what they are uniquely placed to judge - stardom.

"This exciting award will shine an early spotlight on the talented young actors and actresses who are the future of our industry."

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