A movie about a British-Nigerian schoolgirl nets 7 nominations from the British Academy Film Awards, or the BAFTA. The feature called ''Rocks'' stars Bukky Bakray, 16. The ''Rock'' is about a teenage girl juggling her school and family life.
The story touches on a tumultuous growing up journey for Shola, called Rocks by her mates, who tried to stop the disappearance of her mother from being discovered.
The nomination equals that of Chloe Zhao's "Nomadland" - which won this year's Gold Globe Award for best drama film.
Together "Rocks" and "Nomadland" garnered the most mentions on the shortlist.
" I'm just, like, speechless. I don't really have words or speech because, I mean, we're both pretty nonchalant people, but it's just like being a bit spaced out on that. What the hell is happening? You know, excuse my French, but like, I'm just confused. It's weird", Bukray said.
Bakray says this recognition means a lot to her.
"There's a narrative that stories like this, people don't care for it, and if people don't care for stories like this in cinema and in TV, then it makes you feel that people don't care for those stories generally. So I think seeing how people are just so like in love with 'Rocks,' it kind of makes you feel indispensable in the world, and makes you feel less marginal to the broader picture. And it just makes you feel like the main character in your own story. I think that's what is really getting to me", she added.
The 16-year old competes against Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby and Radha Blank in the best actress category.
Also Alfre Woodard and Wunmi Mosaku - both of whom Bakray has studied.
"I watched (Woodard) speak at RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) and I looked at that woman and I'm thinking she's outstanding. And now I'm in the same category as her. This was last year, like the way, the way things have just been totally, like, flipped. It's insane. Even Wunmi (Mosaku) I watched her performance in 'His House' and I literally sat there with a pen and paper and I learned from her performance and how she is as a performer", Woodard said
For Mosaku: "The fact that I'm in that category with them makes me feel like, because for a long time I haven't felt like an actor. So this really makes me feel like an actor, which is like. Wow, I can do this, I can really make this something, I can really run with this and feel comfortable, which is amazing."
Bakray has no huge plans for a celebration. But she's planning to put the good energy from the news into taping an audition for a future project.
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