L-R (Top): Albert Mwangi, Georgie Stone, BeBe Bettencourt, Clarence Ryan, and Jacob Junior Nayinggul. Bottom (L-R) are Yerin Ha, Elizabeth Cullen, Ngali Shaw, Marlo Kelly, Claude Jabbour.

A cross-section of the country’s emerging on screen talent has received the endorsement of the Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) with the announcement of the guild’s annual Rising Stars.

The 2021 list comprises Albert Mwangi (Bump), BeBe Bettencourt (The Dry), Clarence Ryan (Stateless), Claude Jabbour (Eden), Elizabeth Cullen (Elvis), Georgie Stone (Neighbours), Jacob Junior Nayinggul (High Ground), Marlo Kelly (Joe Exotic), Ngali Shaw (RFDS) and Yerin Ha (Halo).

Now in its seventh year, the program is designed to identify Australian actors that have the potential to shine on the world stage, with previous recipients including Eliza Scanlan (Babyteeth), Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), Zoe Terakes (Nine Perfect Strangers), Tilda Cobham-Harvey (Hotel Mumbai) and Alexander England (Little Monsters).

CGA president David Newman said the guild was particularly proud of the “talent, tenacity, drive, and passion” of the 2021 CGA Rising Stars.

“In a time when an actor has had to adapt like never before, these emerging artists have managed to shine despite every obstacle put before them,” he said.

The Rising Stars program is supported by Casting Networks and Showcast, with both providing 24-month premium memberships for each of the actors.

Audiences can meet this year’s Rising Stars as part of a 10-day series on CGA’s IGTV Channel, with a new interview posted each day in the lead up to the official presentation at the CGA Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 20.

The CGA Rising Stars are as follows:

Albert Mwangi: A Kenyan-born and raised actor who grew up in Ngong town along the Great Rift Valley within Kajiado County. After completing his studies at NIDA in 2020, he has appeared in Stan Original series Bump and Amazon’s Moth Effect.

BeBe Bettencourt: The 25-year-old actress made feature film debut alongside Eric Bana in The Dry, and most recently appeared in Stan Original series Eden.

Clarence Ryan: Best known for his roles in Cleverman and Dead Gorgeous, Ryan most recently starred in ABC’s award-winning drama Stateless alongside Cate Blanchett, Yvonne Strahovski and Jai Courtney, as well as the AACTA Award-nominated film Moon Rock for Monday. He will next be seen in Blueback opposite Mia Wasikowska and Eric Bana.

Claude Jabbour: An actor, writer and comedian whose most recent credits include Stateless, SBS mini-series On the Ropes alongside Igal Naor, Jack Thompson, Nicole Chamoun and Priscilla Doueihy, feature film Measure for Measure, starring Hugo Weaving and Faysal Bazzi, and Stan Original series, Eden.

Elizabeth Cullen: Cullen received the BUFTA Best Overall Filmmaker award in 2015, securing a full scholarship to study Film and Television at Bond University on the Gold Coast. Known for her debut role as Imogen Blackwell in The Bureau of Magical Things, she will next appear in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, alongside Tom Hanks and Austin Butler.

Georgie Stone: An actress, writer, and transgender rights advocate. She made history in 2019, joining Neighbours in the regular role of Mackenzie Hargreaves – becoming the first transgender character on a long-running TV show in Australia.

Jacob Junior Nayinggul: The actor made his feature film debut in box-office hit, High Ground, receiving widespread acclaim for his stunning performance as Gutjuk.

Marlo Kelly: An actress best known for her performances in Dare Me, Home and Away, and Patricia Moore. She will next appear in Peacock’s Joe Exotic series.

Ngali Shaw: Shaw is best known for his break-out role alongside Rob Collins in drama television series RFDS, which centres on the lives of workers for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

Yerin Ha: Since graduating NIDA in 2018, Ha has been cast in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Lord of the Flies alongside Mia Wasikowska, as well as the Steven Spielberg-produced television series, Halo, being released on Paramount+ in 2022.

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