Film’s most promising young performers are announced by EFP for their annual actors’ showcase at the Berlin International Film Festival

European Film Promotion (EFP) has today revealed the gifted young actors selected as the 2016 EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS. Chosen by a jury of industry experts, the ten talents will be presented to the film world during the opening weekend of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (February 11-21).

The EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS of 2016 have been unveiled as follows:
Martha Canga Antonio (Belgium), Tihana Lazović (Croatia), Lou de Laâge (France), Jella Haase (Germany), Daphné Patakia (Greece), Atli Óskar Fjalarsson (Iceland), Sara Serraiocco (Italy), Reinout Scholten van Aschat (The Netherlands), María Valverde (Spain), Kacey Mottet Klein (Switzerland).

This annual talent platform has developed an impressive reputation for uncovering the international stars of tomorrow. The EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS initiative has set some of today’s most acclaimed European newcomers on the path to acting success. Alumni include Daniel Brühl (Germany), Alicia Vikander (Sweden), Pilou Asbaek (Denmark), Jakob Oftebro (Norway) and the UK’s Maisie Williams.

Now in its 19th year, the SHOOTING STARS event has again received financial support from the Creative Europe-MEDIA Programme of the European Union and participating EFP member organisations, who nominated their candidates.

Jury member Anamaria Marinca, Romanian SHOOTING STAR in 2008, commented today on the 2016 selection: “Being a SHOOTING STAR was exhilarating. Little did I know how problematic it would be as a jury member to try to select just ten participants from the twenty-four nominees put forward by the EFP member organisations this year. We watched films from all over Europe, brimming with fresh young voices. Our final selection of ten actors reflects the diversity and vitality of European Cinema. We are proud to present these emerging artists on a world stage at the Berlinale.”

Further members of the 2016 Jury are: Italian producer Marta Donzelli, Greek film director Constantine Giannaris, German film editor and critic Tobias Kniebe and Danish casting director Rie Hedegaard.

At the Berlinale, the ten selected actors and actresses will partake in a specially curated weekend of profile-raising workshops and events, with influential members of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), film and television agents and filmmakers, alongside interviews and photo-shoots with international media.

The meetings with casting directors are often an especially important stepping stone in the careers of the emerging talent. Most recently, former Shooting Stars Alexander Fehling (Germany, 2011) and Sven Schelker (Switzerland, 2015) have been cast by ICDN member and SHOOTING STARS supporter Simone Bär, in the 5th season of the acclaimed television drama series, Homeland. Statistically, eight out of ten of the actors awarded the SHOOTING STARS accolade have been involved in international casting sessions which have directly led to their involvement in one or more international co-productions, following their Berlinale debuts.

The programme of events at the Berlinale will conclude with the time-honoured red carpet awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast, where the achievements of the young actors are celebrated and each actor presented with a EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS Award, which will be donated by long-term main partner Tesiro in their eighth year of supporting this initiative.

BELGIUM: Martha Canga Antonio
Nominated by Flanders Image

Selected film:
Black (2015) by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah

Jury’s comment:  
“In 'Black’, a story about gang violence in Brussels' notorious Molenbeek neighbourhood, Martha gives an extraordinary debut as a modern Juliet. In her very first role, she already shows great timing, courage and determination, and a natural acting ability.”

CROATIA: Tihana Lazović
Nominated by Croatian Audiovisual Centre

Selected films:
On The Other Side (2016) by Zrinko Ogresta
The High Sun (2015) by Dalibor Matanić
Hush... ( 2013) by Lukas Nola

Jury's comment:
“Playing three characters in three different stories of the Balkan conflict, Tihana carries all the emotions of love and hatred in her raw, forceful screen presence. We saw an instinctive, versatile actress who embodied the film’s life-affirming humanity.”

CROATIA: Tihana Lazović
Nominated by Croatian Audiovisual Centre

Selected films:
On The Other Side (2016) by Zrinko Ogresta
The High Sun (2015) by Dalibor Matanić
Hush... ( 2013) by Lukas Nola

Jury's comment:
“Playing three characters in three different stories of the Balkan conflict, Tihana carries all the emotions of love and hatred in her raw, forceful screen presence. We saw an instinctive, versatile actress who embodied the film’s life-affirming humanity.”

GERMANY: Jella Haase
Nominated by German Films

Selected films:
SUCK ME SHAKESPEER 2 ( 2015) by Bora Dagtekin
Four Kings (2015) by Theresa von Eltz
Combat Girls  (2012) by David Wnendt

Jury's comment:
“When it comes to playing outspoken, rebelllious and and slightly trashy characters with a heart of gold, Jella has German audiences at her feet – as witnessed again in ‘4 Könige / 4 Kings’. Now we can’t wait to see her apply that joyful energy in new, challenging and unexpected ways.”

GREECE: Daphné Patakia
Nominated by Greek Film Centre

Selected films:
Spring Awakening (2016) by Constantine Giannaris
Interruption (2015) by Yorgos Zois

Jury's comment:
“A charismatic presence on the screen, Daphne convinced the jury with her extraordinary focus, her air of mystery and her willingness to express extreme emotions in astonishing ways.”

ICELAND: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
Nominated by Icelandic Film Centre

Selected films:
Sparrows (2015) by Rúnar Rúnarsson
The Press III (2012) by Óskar Jónasson
Jitters (2010) by Baldvin Z

Jury's comment:
“Atli convinced us with his generous, poetic yet contained performance in ‘Þrestir / Sparrows’. Playing a sensitive boy caught in a cold and harsh environment, he showed us a new and refreshing take on the role of the quiet dreamer.”

ITALY: Sara Serraiocco
Nominated by Istituto Luce Cinecittà/Italy

Selected film:
L’Accabadora (2015) by Enrico Pau
Chlorine (2015) by Lamberto Sanfelice
Salvo (2013) by Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia

Jury's comment:
“As a girl who has to fight for her dreams, Sara shines brightly in the coming-of-age story ‘Cloro / Chlorine’. We were impressed by her strong screen appearance and effortless physicality, and we admire the integrity that grounds all her performances.”

THE NETHERLANDS: Reinout Scholten van Aschat
Nominated by EYE International/The Netherlands

Selected films:
Beyond Sleep (2016) by Boudewijn Koole
Johan, Soccer Messiah (2014) by Pim van Hoeve (TV)
The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) by  Maarten Treurniet

Jury's comment:
“Often filmed all alone in Norway’s Finnmark wilderness, Reinout affirms himself as the magnetic centre of the philosophical adventure story ‘Nooit meer slapen / Beyond Sleep’. In a riveting performance, he walks the delicate line between lucidity and madness.”

SPAIN: Maria Valverde
Nominated by ICAA/Spain

Selected films:
Now Or Never (2015) by Maria Ripoll
Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014) by Ridley Scott
Madrid. 1987 (2012) by David Trueba 

Jury's comment:
“The camera just loves her extraordinary, unconventional face, and Maria has the talent for a great career. She is able to capture emotion effortlessly. International audiences received an exciting glimpse of this in Ridley Scott's ‘Exodus’, and now we look forward to her new endeavours."

SWITZERLAND: Kacey Mottet Klein
Nominated by Swiss Films

Selected films:
Keeper (2015) by Guillaume Senez  
Sister (2012) by Ursula Meier
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life ( 2010) by Joann Sfar

Jury's comment:
“Although the youngest of this year’s Shooting Stars, Kacey is already an experienced actor, having made his screen debut at the age of ten. In ‘Keeper’, he crosses into adulthood, not only portraying a troubled yet tender adolescent, but also showing a firm and very mature command of his craft.”

International press and publicity for the SHOOTING STARS at the Berlin International Film Festival 2016 will once again be handled by Organic Publicity.

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