UK actress Andrea Riseborough (pictured) and Germany’s Alexander Fehling are among ten up-and-coming European acting talents which have been selected from a longlist of 25 candiates for European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars showcase at next February’s Berlin International Film Festival.
The international jury of film professionals, comprising producer Cedomir Kolar, film critic Derek Elley, Danish filmmaker Ole Christian Madsen, German actress and former Shooting Star Heike Makatsch and US casting director Lina Todd, chose the following lineup of six actresses and four actors from across Europe for the 2011 edition of Shooting Stars.
Albania: Nik Xhelilaj
Croatia: Marija Škaričić
Denmark: Pilou Asbæk
Germany: Alexander Fehling
Ireland: Domhnall Gleeson
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Natasha Petrovic
Spain: Clara Lago
Sweden: Alicia Vikander
The Netherlands: Sylvia Hoeks
UK: Andrea Riseborough
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Cedomir Kolar, who was recently involved in making such films as The Light Thief, Womb and Cirkus Columbia, remarked that the fact there had been so many applications for the 14th edition of the showcase was “a great sign of how important this event is today, in the profession as well as the media in general. For smaller, more recent members of EFP, it is even more important, since being a Shooting Star can often provide a professional passport beyond one’s country.”
Western Europe dominates the 2011 selection with seven talents, while Eastern Europe is represented by three newcomer actors.
Albania is being represented by Tirana-born Nik Xhelilaj whose latest film, the Albanian-German co-production The Albanian by Johannes Naber earned him the Silver George for Best Actor at the Moscow International Film Festival in June as well as the best actor awards at the PriFilmFest in Prishtina (Kosovo) and the International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival this autumn.
Meanwhile, Croatia Marija Škaričić’s could be seen at this year’s Berlinale official competition in Burhan Qurbani’s debut feature Shahada and was then awarded the Golden Arena for Best Actress at the Pula Film Festival for her performance in Dalibor Matanić’s Mother Of Asphalt.
At the same time, Natasha Petrovic will be taking time off from her studies of drama at Skopje University to come to Berlin to represent the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Petrovic was cast in the lead role of Juanita Wilson’s feature debut As If I Am Not There, which was based on Slavenka Drakulic’s book of the same name and set in Bosnia in 1992 .
Denmark is being represented by Pilou Asbæk who made such an impact on international festival audiences this year with his first lead role in Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm’s R as the prisoner “R” who learns how to fight for survival in Denmark’s toughest prison. Asbæk also starred in Pernille Fischer Christensen’s feature A Family which was shown in the Berlinale competition last February.
Alexander Fehling will be the latest in a long line of German Shooting Stars following the likes of Franka Potente, Hannah Herzsprung, Daniel Brühl and David Kross. Fehling made his film acting debut in Robert Thalheim’s 2006 film And Along Come Tourists and has most recently taken the leads as the young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in Philipp Stölzl’s Goethe! and as Andreas Baader in Andres Veiel’s fiction feature debut Wer Wenn Nicht Wir. Veiel’s is being hotly tipped as a likely candidate to be one of the German films in the Berlinale’s Official Competition next February.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Domhnall Gleeson will have a double spotlight trained on him at this year’s Berlinale since he also appears in the 2011 Berlinale’s opening film True Grit by Ethan and Joel Coen. Gleeson can currently be seen alongside his actor father Brendan in the latest Harry Potter extravaganza in the cinemas and will have a part in [Brendan] Gleeson’s directorial debut At Swim-Two-Birds next year. He was also in two Toronto titles, Never Let Me Go and Sensation.
Spain, on the other hand, will be represented by Goya nominee Clara Lago who recently completed work on Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s latest comedy Primos as well as Andi Baiz’s Bunker which was shot in Colombia, while Sweden will be in Berlin this year with Alicia Vikander who made her big-screen acting debut in Lisa Langseth’s Pure which won the Flash-Forward Award at this year’s Pusan International Film Festival.
Following Nothing Personal’s Lotte Verbeek in the 2010 showcase, the Netherlands will be represented in the next edition of Shooting Stars by Sylvia Hoeks who was cast in her first lead role in Ben Sombogaart’s The Storm in 2009. She followed it this year with the title role of Rudolf van den Berg’s Tirza which was submitted by The Netherlands as its entry for the Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards.
This year’s lineup of Shooting Stars is rounded off by the UK actress Andrea Riseborough who attracted the attention of festival audiences and cinemagoers alike with her performances in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, Nigel Cole’s Made In Dagenham and Rowan Joffe’s Brighton Rock. This summer, Riseborough was appearing as Wallis Simpson in W.E. under the direction of Madonna.
The Shooting Stars programme will be held during the Berlinale from Feb 12-14, with the presentation of the Shooting Stars Award to the ten young talents on the stage of the Berlinale Palast on the evening of Monday, February 14, 2011.