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EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS – 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 11th February, 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 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 charac-ters, 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" in The 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 Marie Wilmann 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.


Elliott Crosset Hove (Denmark)
nominated by Danish Film Institute

Selected films:
Winter Brothers by Hlynur Pálmason
Wildland by Jeanette Nordahl
The Purity of Vengeance by Christoffer Boe

Jury's comment: "Elliott Crossett Hove possesses incredible charisma, understands the natural rhythm of a scene and becomes one not only with his character but also his co-stars. The jury was blown away by his strong presence, deep intuition, effortlessness, responsiveness and raw ability to shift from transparent vulnerability to intimidation, but most importantly, by his clear sense of what it means to be in the moment."

Rea Lest (Estonia)
nominated by Estonian Film Institute

Selected films:
November by Rainer Sarnet
The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow by Sulev Keedus
Mother by Kadri Kõusaar

Jury's comment: "Who said you cannot act with your toe? Rea Lest-Liik can most certainly do that! She possesses the incredible skill to control her body in every sense: her movements draw you in, while her face becomes the playground for every imaginable expression. Rea Lest-Liik's beguiling ability to fill the frame with sheer fierceness, forcefulness and passion impressed the jury."

Emma Drogunova (Germany)
nominated by German Films

Selected films:
The Tobacconist by Nikolaus Leytner
Blind Spot by Stephan Lacant
A Jar Full of Life by Florian Ross

Jury's comment: "With an impulsive and fiery screen personality, Emma Drogunova owns each one of her acting choices and is able to show seduction, cruelty, provocation and danger all at once in her multi-layered performances. She is an energetic, captivating, multifaceted and vibrant discovery with an impressive acting range, that also conveys a wonderful warmth and love for life last seen in The Tobacconist."

Kristín Thora Haraldsdóttir (Iceland)
nominated by Icelandic Film Centre

Selected films:
And Breathe Normally by Ísold Uggadóttir
Let Me Fall by Baldvin Z
Prisoners by Ragnar Bragason

Jury's comment: "Kristín Thora Haraldsdóttir shows a very deep insight and understanding of her roles. Invariably compelling and always portraying challenging characters, she possesses the subtle and keen aptitude to push the boundaries of viewers' experience therefore earning our utmost trust and attention. This is truly a remarkable quality not to be missed in an actress."

Aisling Franciosi (Ireland)
nominated by Screen Ireland

Selected films and / TV-Series:
The Nightingale by Jennifer Kent
Jimmy's Hall by Ken Loach
The Fall by Allan Cubitt, Jakob Verbruggen

Jury's comment: "Aisling Franciosi forms a powerful symbiosis with her character in Jennifer Kent's The Nightingale, thus revealing great acting range and superb instincts, as well as profound sensitivity and intelligence in the way she interprets a scene. Her physical transformation is exceptional, morphing spectacularly into Joan of Arc from a young and fragile woman, all the while masterfully and carefully controlling her performance."

Blagoj Veselinov (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRoM))
nominated by Macedonian Film Agency

Selected films:
Secret Ingredient by Gjorce Stavreski
Shoes by Branko Kosteski
The Liberation of Skopje by Rade and Danilo Sherbedzija

Jury's comment: "Blagoj Veselinov has utterly impressed the jury with his performance in Gjorce Stavreski's Secret Ingredient, which is imbued with deep and unexpected sensitivity. Veselinov's turn here is cleverly and commandingly toned down and subtle, showing his heartfelt bond with his character. We look forward to seeing what he does next!"

Ine Marie Wilmann (Norway)
nominated by Norwegian Film Institute

Selected films:
Sonja - The White Swan by Anne Sewitsky
Homesick by Anne Sewitsky

Jury's comment: "Ine Maria Wilman blew the jury away with the physicality of her performance as iconic ice-skater Sonja Henie in Anne Sewitsky's Sonja: The White Swan, where she skillfully combines (inner) strength, subtlety and profundity. Wilmann is a magnetic leading lady."

Dawid Ogrodnik (Poland)
nominated by Polish Film Institute

Selected films:
Silent Night by Piotr Domalewski
The Last Family by Jan P. Matuszynski
Life Feels Good by Maciej Pieprzyca

Jury's comment: "An extremely versatile and dedicated actor, Dawid Ogrodnik has won the jury over with his sensitive face that records many a deep emotion in each one of his performances. A fresh talent, who we feel lives and breathes his characters to get into a role, he is a young acting force to be reckoned with. His raw talent is enthralling to watch."

Milan Marić (Serbia)
nominated by Film Center Serbia

Selected films:
Dovlatov by Alexei German Jr.
Humidity by Nikola Ljuca
A Good Wife by Mirjana Karanović

Jury's comment: "Authenticity, dedication and a clear attitude towards the role he is playing not only define Milan Marić as an actor but also mark his performances. In Alexei German Jr's Dovlatov, he is gloomily charismatic, brooding and affecting. His highly nuanced acting sensibility in which he carefully chooses the means through which he will convey the film's subject makes him a talent to watch."

Ardalan Esmaili (Sweden)
nominated by Swedish Film Institute

Selected films:
The Charmer by Milad Alami
The Girl, the Mother and the Demons by Suzanne Osten
Beck - The Last Day by Jörgen Bergmark

Jury's comment: "With a leading man quality showing tremendous honesty in all his performances, Ardalan Esmaili climbs out of the expected and surprises us. In Milad Alami's The Charmer, Esmaili instills his character with a tormented fragility and delivers a quietly twitchy, brilliant code-switching performance that retains the audience's sympathy."

The European Shooting Stars 2019 are supported by the following EFP member organisations: Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, German Films, Icelandic Film Centre, Screen Ire-land, Macedonian Film Agency, Norwegian Film Institute, Polish Film Institute, Film Center Serbia and Swedish Film Institute.

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