EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS (ESS) – now in its 22nd year – will present ten of the best up-and-coming acting talents from Europe who are deemed ready to step out onto the international film scene by a jury of industry experts.
The event taking place between 8th – 11th February 2019 during the 69th Berlin International Film Festival will introduce five actresses and five actors to the film industry, public and international press. In addition to the public exposure, the programme provides a special platform for the Stars to meet casting directors, producers and filmmakers in one-on-one meetings, offering a unique opportunity to create the personal contacts and networks needed to embark upon an international career. The busy weekend culminates in an awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on Monday 11thFebruary, where each actor will be honoured with the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS Award donated by Leysen1855. EFP’s prolific talent platform is financially supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the respective EFP member organisations.
Choosing the top ten actors out of a brilliant pool of European talent was not an easy task this year. Elliott Crosset Hove from Denmark swayed the jury with his “raw ability to shift from transparent vulnerability to intimidation” in Winter Brothers, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the Locarno and Vilinus Film Festivals, and a Robert, the Danish Academy Award. Rea Lest-Liik from Estonia impressed with her “fierceness, forcefulness and passion” depicted in November. The youngest up-and-coming star is Emma Drogunova from Germany. Now 23, she started filming at the age of 16 and her performance this year in The Tobacconist made her an “energetic, captivating, multifaceted and vibrant discovery” for the experts. Kristín Thora Haraldsdóttir from Iceland shows a deep understanding of her often very challenging characters, as most recently seen in And Breathe Normally, earning her the audience’s “utmost trust and attention”.
Aisling Franciosi from Ireland, whose credits include TV series Games of Thrones and Legends, stunned the jury with her “great acting range and superb instincts” inThe Nightingale, while Macedonian actor Blagoj Veselinov convinced with his “deep and unexpected sensitivity” in the multi award-winning Secret Ingredient. Dawid Ogrodnik from Poland is “a young acting force to be reckoned with,” having won the jury over with his raw talent in Silent Night, and Norwegian actress Ine MarieWilmann astounded everybody with “the physicality of her performance” in Sonja: The White Swan. Serbian actor Milan Marić thrilled with his “gloomily charismatic, brooding and affecting” work in Dovlatov, which screened this year in competition in Berlin. Rounding off the ten actors with his “tremendous honesty and leading-man qualities” in The Charmer is Ardalan Esmaili from Sweden.
EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS is the oldest and most prestigious initiative to promote European talent for the international film market. Since its first edition in 1998, a total of 303 European Shooting Stars have been presented at this influential international film festival, proving for many an important stepping stone in their careers, including Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts, Domhnall Gleeson, Alexander Fehling, Ruth Negga, Pilou Asbæk, Carla Juri and Baltasar Kormákur to name a few.
The members of the 2019 jury are: US casting director Avy Kaufman, film critic Tara Karajica from Serbia, Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska, producer Macdara Kelleher from Ireland and Icelandic Shooting Star from 1999, Ingvar Sigurdsson.