Micheal Ward says his Bafta nomination vindicates Blue Story

This year's EE Rising Star award short list also includes Kaitlyn Dever, Jack Lowden, Awkwafina and Kelvin Harrison Jnr.

Blue Story star Micheal Ward has said that his nomination for a Bafta award is a vindication of the film following controversies surrounding screenings.

The gang drama was temporarily withdrawn from Vue cinemas after seven police officers were injured in a disturbance at Star City in Birmingham in November, where there were reports of youths with machetes.

The cinema chain said it pulled Blue Story as a safety precaution after “25 significant incidents” were reported at its venues within 24 hours of the film’s release, although they later reinstated it.

Ward told the PA news agency: “You have to watch it to feel the impact.

“The headlines or whatever is one thing, but that doesn’t sum up the film.”

Blue Story, which follows the lives of two boys caught up on opposite sides of a postcode war, is the directorial debut by Rapman.

It is about two friends, Marco, played by Ward, and Timmy, played by Stephen Odubola, who go to school together in Peckham, south London, but end up in rival gangs.

Ward added: “I feel like Bafta and EE have seen the message that we have tried to tell with Blue Story.”

He is among a five-strong shortlist for the EE Rising Star Award for his role in the film.

Speaking after the announcement of nominees for the award in central London, Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry called the film “absolutely amazing”.

She added: “It has had quite a journey.

“Hopefully more people are watching the film now and [Ward’s] performance is extraordinary.”

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