Saoirse Ronan at the British Independent Film Awards

Saoirse Ronan scooped the award for Best Actress at the BIFA Awards

An ex-model, a musical theatre actress and Shia LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend were just three of the up-and-coming starlets that stepped out at the British Independent Film Awards last night, celebrating 2015’s biggest underground successes on the silver screen.

Carey Mulligan

Marion Cotillard

While the red-carpet was a roll call of Hollywood A-listers, including Kate Winslet wearing Antonio Beradi, Carey Mulligan in Gucci and Marion Cotillard in Dior (Carey and Marion were both nominated for Best Actress, which eventually went to Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn), we’re marking these six newcomers as ones to watch for 2016. Get to know them before they get huge (because trust us, they will)…  

1. Abigail Hardingham
The Most Promising Newcomer Award went to Abigail Hardingham for her turn in Nina Forever, a horror comedy involving a love interest with a not-so-dead girlfriend. Next up? Sasquatch, a comedy film about hunting Bigfoot which is sure to mark Abigail as cinema's latest funny girl. 

2. Mia Goth
Alos nominated for Most Promising Newcomer, you might know Mia better as Shia LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend. After making a name for herself in Nymphomaniac (now that’s how you make a debut…), Mia was nominated for Most Promising Newcomer for The Survivalist, and is due to be seen in horror flick A Cure For Wellness in 2016. We think we’ve just found 2016’s newest indie starlet…

3. Agyness Deyn
This ex-model isn’t exactly new to the limelight, but her acting career is starting to take off after stints in Clash of the Titans and a lead role in Electricity. Nominated for Most Promising Newcomer for Sunset Song, the story of a Scottish farmer’s daughter in 1900s, Ag has three more films due out in 2016. Keep an eye on this one.

4. Ella Purnell
Ella made her big screen debut in Never Let Me Go (alongside fellow awards attendee Carey Mulligan), and also starred in Maleficent, Kick Ass 2 and the hugely successful TV movie Cyberbully. While not nominated this year, you’ll see Ella in Tarzan, The Home For Peculiar Children and Access All Areas in 2016.

5. Ellie Bamber
Ellie is currently treading the boards as 14-year-old Dinah in High Society, but is breaking out of her comfort zone for 2016. Best known for The Falling, Ellie will become a familiar red-carpet face when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies comes out in 2016. She’ll also star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and Aaron Taylor Johnson in the American thriller Nocturnal Animals.

6. Joanna Vanderham
Most known for her TV work, Joanna Vanderham takes a starring role on the silver screen as Cara in And Then I Was French, a wallflower turned dark by unrequited love. This moody thriller follows in the footsteps of films like Gone Girl and Girl On The Train (which we are desperate to see), and could make Joanna one to watch.

These big-screen newcomers were also joined by Alicia Vikander, who was nominated for her role in The Danish Girl, Downton Abbey’s Laura Carmichael, Gemma Chan and Saoirse Ronan, who picked up her award for Best Actress for Brooklyn. With talent like this, independent cinema never looked so good!

Alicia Vikander

Laura Carmichael

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Gemma Chan