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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story leads Empire Award nominations

Actors Felicity Jones and Riz Ahmed land individual mentions.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story looks set to dominate the 2017 Empire Awards after receiving nine nominations.

The Star Wars spin-off was nominated for Best Film, Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Best Visual Effects, Best Actress for Felicity Jones, Best Male Newcomer for Riz Ahmed, and Best Director for Gareth Edwards, plus a number of technical categories.

It faces competition from Arrival, Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Deadpool and La La Land for Best Film, and Arrival, A Monster Calls, Doctor Strange and 10 Cloverfield Lane for the Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy title.

Felicity will go head to head with Arrival's Amy Adams, who was snubbed at the Oscars, for the Best Actress category. Other nominees include Academy Awards nominees Natalie Portman, (Jackie), Ruth Negga (Loving) and Emma Stone (La La Land).

The Best Actor shortlist features more of a mix between awards season favourites and blockbuster stars with nominees including Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) and Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

Ahmed has tough competition for the Male Newcomer prize from the likes of Julian Dennison (Hunt For The Wilderpeople), Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls), Dave Johns (I, Daniel Blake) and Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War), while nominees for the female equivalent include The Witch's Anya Taylor-Joy, who is also known for Split, Sennia Nanua for The Girl with All the Gifts, American Honey's Sasha Lane, Hayley Squires from I, Daniel Blake and The Nice Guys' Angourie Rice.

The latter movie, starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, was also nominated for Best Comedy alongside Hunt For The Wilderpeople, Deadpool, The Greasy Strangler and the latest Ghostbusters offering, while the Best Thriller category features Victoria, Jason Bourne, Nocturnal Animals, Hell or High Water and Captain America: Civil War.

The nominees for the Best British Film prize include High Rise, I, Daniel Blake, The Girl with All the Gifts, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and Eddie the Eagle.

The winners, voted for by the public, will be announced during a ceremony at The Roundhouse in London on 19 March (17).

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