Iceland's Tomas Lemarquis (Noi Albinoi), Maria Simon (Good Bye, Lenin!) , Spain's Elena Ananya (Van Helsing) and the UK's Eva Birthistle (Bloody Sunday) are among 21 young European actors and actresses who will participate in this year's Shooting Stars initiative during the forthcoming Berlinale.

They were nominated by the members of the pan-European promotional agency European Film Promotion (EFP).

A series of special events will be held during the festival's opening weekend from Feb 6-8 to focus the attention of the international film industry and media on these young talents who are tipped to become international stars of the future. On Feb 8, they will be presented with the newly created Studio Hamburg Shooting Stars Award by festival director Dieter Kosslick at the Berlinale Palast.

"Over a period of seven years, more than 100 of Europe's most promising young actors have stood before the press, industry and public on the main stage of the Berlinale Palast," Kosslick said. "Commitment, skill and poise are just some of the words that come to mind when I think of these young actors who are the heart of Europe's cinematic renaissance."

2004's complete line-up of Shooting Stars is as follows:

Austria - Georg Friedrich (Dog Days)
Belgium - Lubna Azabal (Un Monde Presque Paisible)
Czech Republic - Ana Geislerova (Zelary)
Denmark - Sonja Richter (In Your Hands)
Finland - Irina Bjorklund (The Third Wave)
France - Zoe Felix (La Beuze)
Germany - Maria Simon (Good Bye, Lenin!)
Greece - Alexandra Aidini (The Weeping Meadow)
Hungary - Eszter Onodi (Hukkle)
Iceland - Tomas Lemarquis (Noi Albino)
Ireland - Andrew Scott (Saving Private Ryan)
Italy - Filippo Nigro (La Finestra Di Fronte)
Latvia - Kristine Nevarauska (Honey Baby)
Luxembourg - Tom Leick (The Emperor's Wife)
Norway - Askel Hennie (Jonny Vang)
Portugal - Angelo Torres (Fado Blues)
Spain - Elena Ananya (Van Helsing)
Sweden - Andreas Wilson (Evil)
Switzerland - Michael Koch (Achtung, Fertig, Charlie!)
The Netherlands - Thekla Reuten (De Tweeling)
UK - Eva Birthistle (Bloody Sunday)