British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed is political, passionate and undeniably talented. The native Londoner first roamed the posh halls of Oxford as a student of philosophy and politics before training at...
The drama has scored nods in categories including Best British Independent Film, Best Director and Best Debut Director for Rufus Norris, while Roth will compete for the Best Actor trophy and his two co-stars Cillian Murphy and Rory Kinnear will battle it out for the Best Supporting Actor prize.
Other movies competing for the top honour include ensemble comedy-drama The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Berberian Sound Studio, Sightseers, and The Imposter, while British rapper Plan B has earned a nod in the Best Debut Director category for his drama Ill Manors.
The star of Ill Manors, Riz Ahmed, is also nominated in the Best Actor category, along with Roth and Terence Stamp (Song for Marion), Steve Oram (Sightseers), and Toby Jones (Berberian Sound Studio).
Other big names in the running for awards include Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Vanessa Redgrave (Song for Marion), and Billy Connolly (Quartet).
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony in London on 9 December (12).
The actress joined co-stars Riz Ahmed and Liev Schreiber on the red carpet and shared a kiss for photographers with fiance Matt Bellamy.
Polish actress and model Kasia Smutniak opened the festival with a sombre reminder that filmmaker Jafar Panahi is still under house arrest in his native Iran for making films about the country deemed inappropriate and could not attend the event.
His absence was marked by an empty seat onstage outside the Palazzo Del Cinema.
Panahi has also been remembered at other European film festivals, where he was once a regular.
Bosses at the Channel 4 network have confirmed they will broadcast satirist Chris Morris' film Four Lions - about a terrorist cell's plot to target the London Marathon - early next month (Sep11).
They insist the movie, starring Riz Ahmed, will not be shown on September 11, but will be aired as part of a season of programmes commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 2001 atrocity.
The network's chief creative officer, Jay Hunt, says, "I've just had a robust conversation with Chris Morris about Four Lions and the scheduling of that and how close it is to 9/11. I think we should absolutely continue to push those boundaries.
"It is going out in the next week-and-a-half or so. It is not going out on 9/11 itself. But it is around then because it speaks to that issue."
Victims of the 7/7 terror attacks in London called for a boycott of Four Lions following its release last year (10). In 2001, Morris sparked outrage when he produced a spoof TV news show mocking the media's coverage of paedophilia.
Released first single as Riz MC, "Post 9/11 Blues"
Portrayed a young radical Muslim in "Four Lions"
Featured opposite Freida Pinto in "Trishna"
Played a drug dealer in "Shifty"
Played a drug dealer in "Ill Manors"
British Pakistani actor Riz Ahmed is political, passionate and undeniably talented. The native Londoner first roamed the posh halls of Oxford as a student of philosophy and politics before training at the University of London's Central School of Speech and Drama. Under the alias Riz MC, he released the satirical rap single "Post 9/11 Blues" in 2006, the same year he made his film debut as Guantanamo Bay detainee Shafiq Rasul in "The Road to Guantanamo." Keenly aware of his Pakistani heritage, Ahmed nevertheless sought out a diverse array of roles. He played the title drug dealer in "Shifty" (2008); a wanna-be suicide bomber in the terrorist satire "Four Lions" (2010); and a complex, controlling hotelier in "Trishna" (2011). But Ahmed wasn't content confining his creativity to just the screen. He parlayed "Post 9/11 Blues" into a successful career as Riz MC, which saw him honored as a BBC Introducing artist four years before the release of his 2011 album, <i>MICroscope</i>. His portrayal of a tough council estate drug dealer in "Ill Manors" (2012) capped off a string of roles that found the intelligent, articulate actor bring his explosive talent to new heights.
Central School of Speech and Drama
Merchant Taylors' School
Christ Church College, Oxford University
His first album, 2006's MICroscope, featured a collaboration with his "Ill Manors" director Plan B.
"I don't think you have to be a politics buff to look around and go, 'Hang on, we're living in the middle of a financial crisis, what was the thinking that allowed us to get here,' or 'Hang on, we're living in constant fear of attack, what's the thinking, the journey, that has brought us here?' People are a lot more switched on and the idea of there being 'political interest' and 'the rest of life' is dissolving." - from HeraldScotland.com, May 1, 2013
Has a brother who is a psychiatrist, and a sister who is a lawyer.
Designed an interactive, sci-fi themed website for MICroscope that was named Site of the Day by TheFWA.com in August 2010.
Was named an Emerging Artist in Residence at London's prestigious Southbank Centre, a sprawling arts complex founded in 1951.