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Shooting Stars 2017

Each year, EFP selects the Shooting Stars, 10 of the most promising young actors from all over Europe, through a select jury of film industry professionals, because of the talent and potential the actors and actresses showcase in their performances. Cineuropa has met up with each talent during the Berlinale, and interviewed them.

ALESSANDRO BORGHI (Italy)

After appearing in several TV series, Alessandro Borghi attracted the audience's attention in 2015 with his lead role in Claudio Caligari's Don’t Be Bad which earned him the NuovoImaie Talent Award as Best Newcoming Italian Actor in Venice that year. He subsequently picked up two nominations for the David di Donatello for this role and his performance in Stefano Sollima's Suburra, which garnered him a Kinèo Award at 2016's Venice Film Festival. This year will see Alessandro in his first international experience in Dalida with the French director Lisa Azuelos.

ESBEN SMED (Denmark)

Esben Smed had already appeared in two films by Nils MalmrosAching Hearts and Sorrow and Joy - before graduating from The Danish National School of Performing Arts in 2013. He has since become known to the wider television audience thanks his role as Nicky in two seasons of the acclaimed TV series Follow the Money aired this year. Esben had previously played the footballer John "Faxe" Jensen in Kasper Barfoed's comedy Summer of '92 and will soon be seen as the male lead in Jacob Bitsch's Danish-German co-production Letters for Amina.

HANNAH HOEKSTRA (The Netherlands)

A graduate of the Amsterdam Theatre School, Hannah Hoekstra received a Best Actress Award at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2012 for her lead role in Sacha Polak's Hemel. She was cast in Bobby Boermans' App and The Canal by the Irish filmmaker Ivan Kavanagh and has also appeared on the stage in productions of the Dutch National Theatre since 2013. Hannah's lead role as Tiny in Andre van Duren's The Fury earned her Best Actress awards at the Montreal World Film Festival and at the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht in 2016.

KARIN FRANZ KÖRLOF (Sweden)

A graduate of Stockholm's Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2015, Karin Franz Körlof had already appeared in various films, TV productions and theatre plays in the preceding years, including the lead role in critically acclaimed TV series Blue Eyes and a supporting role in Wallander: The Betrayal. Karin became a household name with her portrayal of Lydia in Pernilla August's A Serious Game which premiered at the Berlinale last year, and she will soon be seen as the lead in Olof Spaak's feature debut Garden Lane. Karin is currently filming The Wife in Scotland, directed by Björn Runge.

ELINA VASKA (Latvia)

Elina Vaska was cast in the main role of Renars Vimba's feature debut Mellow Mud as she began studying Theory of Audiovisual Art and Theatre at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Mellow Mud won the Crystal Bear for Best Film on its world premiere at the Berlinale's Generation 14plus strand last year and the Children & Youth Film Prize at Lübeck's Nordic Film Days. Elina, who has now also made her stage acting debut, received the Silver Peacock Trophy for Best Actress at the International Film Festival of India at the end of November for her role in Mellow Mud.

LOUIS HOFMANN (Germany)

Louis Hofmann began acting from the age of nine and received the Best Young Talent New Faces Award in 2012 for his lead role in Tom Sawyer. He was presented with the Bavarian Film Prize for Newcomer Actor for his performance in Sanctuary, while his first international role in the Danish-German co-production Land of Mine by Martin Pieter Zandvliet garnered him acting awards at festivals in Tokyo and Beijing as well as Denmark's national Bodil Award. Louis' most recent credits include Jakob M. Erwa's Center of My World and first German Netflix series Dark.

MARUSA MAJER (Slovenia)

A graduate of the University of Ljubljana's Academy of Theatre, Maruša Majer has worked as a freelance actress for cinema and theatre in her native Slovenia. In 2013, she received the Best Actress Award at the International Festival of Children's Theatres in Serbia's Subotica for her performance in Mini Teater's production of Little Sleepy Star. Maruša has worked with such film directors as Boris Bezic, Milan Urbajs and Darko Sinko and was cast in the female leads of Janez Burger's Driving School and his latest feature Ivan.

ZOFIA WICHLACZ (Poland)

Zofia Wichlacz made her screen acting debut with the female lead in Jan Komasa's Warsaw 44, which earned her a Golden Lion for Best Leading Actress at the 2014 Gdynia Film Festival and a Polish Academy Award as Discovery Of The Year in 2015. Since then, she has worked with such acclaimed Polish directors as the late Andrzej Wajda on his last feature film Afterimages and Agnieszka Holland for her latest film Spoor. Zofia was cast in the female leads of Maciej Sobieszczanski's Zgoda and Katarzyna Adamik's Amok.

VICTORIA GUERRA (Portugal)

The Portuguese-British actress Victória Guerra began her career at the age of 17 and has since worked in film, television and theatre. In 2013, she won Portugal's Revelation Golden Globe for her performances in three films, including Valeria Sarmiento's Lines of Wellington, and received two Best Actress awards in 2016 for her lead in Antonio-Pedro Vasconcelos' Impossible Love. Victoria has worked internationally with directors as diverse as Michael Sturminger, the late Andrzej Zulawski, Damian Harris and Benoît Jacquot.

TUDOR AARON ISTODOR (Romania)

Tudor Aaron Istodor worked with such Romanian directors as Lucian Pintilie, Paul Negoescu and Radu Muntean before graduating from the National University of Drama & Cinematography UNATC in 2009 and has since appeared in three features directed by the French actress Fanny Ardant as well as films by Alexandru Maftei (Miss Christina) and Adrian Sitaru (The Fixer), among others. Apart from extensive work on the stage including at the Godot Cafe Theatre and the Jewish State Theatre in Bucharest, Tudor was cast as Edward II for BBC Two's The Plantagenets TV series.

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