The winner of the Rising Star, sponsored by the Irish Film Board, will be announced at the Irish Film and Television Aca-demy (IFTA) awards next month.
Carlow teenager Saoirse Ronan scooped the coveted prize last year following her Oscar-nominated performance in the Hollywood movie Atonement.
This year’s nominees include 17-year-old actress Sarah Bolger, famed for her role in the fantasy movie The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Kisses director Lance Daly, which tells the adventure of two runaway children in Dublin.
Other nominees are German-born Irish actor Michael Fassbender and writer Enda Walsh.
Both were involved in the movie Hunger, which recounted the last six weeks in the life of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands.
Irish Film Board chief executive Simon Perry said the award was an excellent showcase for talent both in front and behind the camera.
“This year’s nominees have all broken through in significant films and we are delighted to see their talent and recent achievements recognised in the award,” Mr Perry said.
Aine Moriarty, chief executive of IFTA, said the award put the spotlight on great Irish talent.
“These four exciting Irish stars have shown themselves to be world-class talents in their respective fields and I have no doubt that they will be counted among the wealth of leading Irish talents over the coming years,” Ms Moriarty said.
“IFTA is proud to put the international spotlight on Ireland’s rising stars and acknowledges the Irish Film Board’s ongoing support of new Irish industry talent.”
The winner will be announced at the IFTAs on February 14.