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Sam Peace, a graduate of Italia Conti, has been named Best Screen Actor for this year’s Spotlight Prize and will receive the £2000 award. Sam was one of 20 students nominated from the UK’s leading drama schools who competed for the Spotlight Prize 2021. Huge congratulations to Sam – we look forward to seeing him progress in his career.

I feel absolutely amazing! I can’t explain the joy I’m feeling right now. After seeing the competition on that list, I’m just stunned I’ve won it! No words! Just happiness.
Sam Peace
Spotlight Prize 2021 Winner
Loved Sam’s strong, natural performance. He was a real stand-out!
Gary Davy
Casting Director, Gary Davy Casting
His thematic intent, commitment and vulnerability, made him stand out among a very high level of emerging talent.
Des Hamilton
Casting Director, Des Hamilton Casting

Watch all the performances by the finalists here, and find out more about the performers here.

This year’s nominees were once more directed by Dr Paulette Randall, MBE, who has worked extensively in theatre, film and television. Associate to Danny Boyle on the Olympics 2012 Ceremony; Paulette has directed at the Royal Court, at many of England’s leading theatres, was formerly Artistic Director of Talawa and is renowned for her direction of August Wilson’s seminal cycle of 10 plays The Ground on Which I Stand covering African-American history. Paulette was the first female black director to bring a drama to the West End, which was Fences, in 2013. She has directed extensively in television, most recently Holby City, Death in Paradise and Tin Star. Paulette will also soon be directing Hollyoaks and the RADA 3rd Year Graduate film Project.

I’m delighted we have been able to celebrate the Spotlight Prize in 2021, once more in a digital format! I’d like to congratulate all the finalists, who really have performed incredibly well under challenging conditions. Huge congratulations to Sam – all of us at Spotlight look forward to watching you and the other finalists flourish in your careers.
Matt Hood
Managing Director, Spotlight

The 2021 Judging Panel included: Dixie Chassay (The Favourite), Maureen Hughes (Love/Hate), Matt Western (False Witness), Gary Davy (Small Axe), Avy Kaufman (Life of Pi), Aisha Bywaters (The Last Tree), Sarah Crowe (Motherland), Jina Jay (The Pursuit of Love), Sophie Holland (The Witcher), Des Hamilton (JoJo Rabbit) and Reg Poerscout-Edgerton (Rocketman).

Sam is currently seeking agent representation.

View the Spotlight Prize 2021 Programme here.

We’re also pleased to announce that Perry Brookes has been awarded the Nigel Seale Spotlight Bursary 2021.

Photo copyright: Joanna Nicole Photography