Name: Jessica Barden
Hails From: Wetherby, England
Résumé: Barden first broke out to American audiences in the much-loved dark comedy “The End of the F—ing World,” which came to Netflix in January after debuting on Channel 4 in the U.K. in October. Between promotion for the U.S. show and heading to Austin for SXSW, she was in Milan for Gucci’s latest show, front row with the likes of Chloë Sevigny, Rowan Blanchard and Lou Doillon.
Why We Care: Barden is the lead role in “The New Romantic,” which premiered at SXSW in the Narrative Feature Competition this past weekend (the film — was one of the many awarded the Special Jury Recognition For First Feature on Tuesday). She stars as Blake, a high school senior who distracts herself from her impending graduation by becoming a sugar baby (and documenting it for a journalism contest). The film, which also stars Hayley Law and Camila Mendes of “Riverdale” and Brett Dier of “Jane the Virgin” fame, was one of several female-directed productions highlighted at SXSW, where 33 percent of all feature films this year were directed by women.
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