Britain’s new film talent

Meet the young actors and directors behind Britain's best new films

The 2011 BFI London Film Festival is overflowing with up-and-coming talent, from writers and directors to the screen stars of tomorrow. Dave Calhoun and David Jenkins profile some of those involved in four inventive new British features, 'Wuthering Heights', 'Junkhearts', 'Weekend' and 'Sket'.

Candese Reid, star of 'Junkhearts'

Candese Reid, the star of Tinge Krishnan's 'Junkhearts' Candese Reid, the star of Tinge Krishnan's 'Junkhearts' - Portrait: Rob Greig

Candese Reid is 19 and in her second year of studying law at Nottingham Trent University, but next weekend she’ll be making a trip south to the London Film Festival for the world premiere of the low-budget British film ‘Junkhearts’ by first-time feature filmmaker Tinge Krishnan. Reid plays a rough sleeper, Lynette, who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Frank (Eddie Marsan), a boozy ex-soldier who lives alone in east London, but then turns on him under the influence of a rogue boyfriend (Tom Sturridge). Reid says she was ‘starstruck’ by Marsan, who she remembers watching in ‘Hancock’.  She says Marsan was a big help. ‘Eddie gave me confidence with emotional scenes, he helped me.’

From the age of nine until she was 16, Reid studied every week with Nottingham’s Television Workshop  (formerly the Central Junior Television Workshop, which counts Samantha Morton as an alumnus) and at nine had a tiny role in Damien O’Donnell’s ‘Heartlands’. Since then she’s had the odd part, such as in the TV series ‘Doctors’, but ‘Junkheart’ is her biggest so far. It’s an intense story, full of drugs, abuse and trauma. Reid says the script touched her straight away. ‘It’s so real. It’s what happens. I’m not from a rich background so I’ve seen these things. I’m from a rough estate in Nottingham, nothing special. I can relate to it.’

Reid has been nominated for a newcomer award at the LFF and has her fingers crossed that more work will come her way. She’s not giving up the degree yet . ‘But if another opportunity came my way, I would jump at it.’