Shooting Stars 2012: Europe's young talent heads to Berlin
08/12/2011 - They are young, gifted and promise to offer European film their flourishing talent. For the 15th year, the European Film Promotion turns the spotlight to ten new Shooting Stars, and will introduce them to the industry and international press at the forthcoming Berlin Film Festival (February 9-19, 2012).
EFP member organisations have nominated 23 candidates for final selection by the jury of internationally established film industry professionals (see news). The Shooting Stars event is is part of the annual programme that is financially supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and participating EFP-member organisations.
Dutch Oscar-winning director and jury member Marleen Gorris said: "The films were a real pleasure to watch. We came away marvelling at the often brilliant way the nominated actors portrayed the feeling of a kind of modern loneliness, taking you on a journey in their search for identity no matter which part of Europe they came from. It was a real challenge choosing our ten favourites from such an interesting and high-quality group of nominees."
The 2012 Shooting Stars are:
Bill Skarsgård - Sweden
Aged 21, Bill Skarsgård has gone from being a child actor to a leading man in no time. He had supporting roles in Peter Flinth's ARN and Carl Åstrand and Mats Lindberg's Kenny Begins [trailer] before being cast as the lead character with Aspberger Syndrome in Andreas Öhman's Oscar-shortlisted Simple Simon [trailer]. Last year, international audiences saw Bill portraying a troubled young man in search of a father figure in Hannes Holm's Behind Blue Skye. He has followed this with a lead role in Lisa Ohlin's Simon and the oaks and a supporting part Ella Lemhangen’s The Crown jeweles. Currently, Bill is working on Joe Wright's new adaptation of Anna Karenina.
Hilmar Gudkonsson - Iceland
A former football player, 27 year-old Hilmar Gudjonsson was hired at Reykjavik's City Theatre on graduating as an actor in spring 2010 and has since appeared in four plays there, ranging from Shakespeare to Ray Cooney. Before then, he had already entered the film industry in 2006 by having a supporting role in Clint Eastwood's Flags of our fathers and followed this with another small role in Ragnar Bragason's Mr. Bjarnfredarson in 2009. He was cast in his first lead part in Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson's subtle and playful dramatic comedy Either Way this year, which recently took the top prize at the 29th Turin Film Festival/Italy. In 2012, Hilmar is set to have a supporting role in Óskar Þór Axelsson's feature Blacks Game.
Adèle Haenel - France
22-year-old Adèle Haenel made her screen acting debut in 2002 in the lead role of Christophe Ruggia's The Devils. In 2007, she resumed acting and received a César nomination as Best Female Hope for her role in Céline Sciamma's Water Lilies [trailer]. After appearing in films during her studies, Adèle finally opted for an acting career from 2010 and made four films in a row, three of which were selected for Cannes 2011: Valérie Mrjeen's Iris in Bloom [trailer], Bertrand Bonello's House of tolerance [trailer], and Jean Jacques Jauffret's Heat Wave, while Caroline Deruas' short Les Enfants de la nuit won a Silver Leopard in Locarno. She has since worked on Catherine Corsini’s Trois Monde Sylvie Verheyde's Confession of a child of the century and Elie Wajeman's Alyah.
Ana Ularu - Romania
Ana Ularu (26) began acting at the age of nine with a role in Claude-Michel Rome's thriller Meurtres par Procuration, followed the next year by his Passion Mortelle. Since graduating with a BA and MFA in Acting from the National University of Theatre and Cinematography in Bucharest, she has worked on more than 20 short and feature films, including Cristian Mungiu's segment of the Lost and Found omnibus, Turkey Girl, and Francis Ford Coppola's Youth without youth [trailer]. In 2010, Ana received a Boccalino d'Oro award in Locarno and the Best Actress Award at the Thessaloniki Film Festival for her portrayal of Matilda in Bogdan Apetri's Outbound. She has since appeared in Daniele Vicari's Diaz and Anca Damian's latest film A very unsettled summer.
Anna Maria Mühe - Germany
Aged 26, Anna Maria Mühe made her film acting debut in 2001 with Maria von Heland's Big girls don’t cry which earned her the Best Actress award at Festival International de Cine las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2003. A year later, she won the Best Actress award at the Copenhagen Film Festival for her lead in Achim von Borries' Love in thoughts. Anna Maria has since appeared in such films as Ed Herzog's Twisted Sister, Marc Meyer's Family Rules! [trailer], Julie Delpy's The Countess [trailer], Til Schweiger's 1 ½ Knights and Hans W. Geissendörfer's In the world you have fear. She received a German Film Award nomination for her first collaboration with director Christian Schwochow on November Child [trailer] and had a supporting role in his second feature Cracks in the shell this year.
Riz Ahmed - UK
London-born Oxford graduate Riz Ahmed landed his first film acting role in Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross' The road to Guantanamo [trailer] during his studies at the Central School of Speech and Drama. His lead performance in Eran Creevy's Shifty [trailer] then won him the Best Actor award at the Geneva Film Festival and a Best Actor nomination at the BIFAs. He followed this in 2009 with Sally Potter's Rage [trailer] and Neil Marshall's Roman epic Centurion before securing a second Best Actor BIFA nomination for his performance in Chris Morris' debut feature Four Lions [trailer] in 2010. He has since been cast in leads for Jean-Jacques Annaud’s Black Gold, Ben Drew's Ill Manors, Michael Winterbottom’s latest feature Trishna [trailer, film focus], and Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Max Hubacher - Switzerland
18-year-old Max Hubacher had acquired a taste for the theatre when he was just seven. At the age of 13 Max appeared in the Schauspielhaus Zürich, playing the role of Paul in ‘Liebestraum’ by Robert Walser (director: Thomas Koerfer). He then became a member of the 14+ Youth Theatre Club affiliated to Berne's Schlachthaus Theater in 2007. Max made his film acting debut in 2009 as one of the leads in Michael Schaerer's cancer drama Stationspiraten [trailer] and followed it last year with the title role in Markus Imboden's current box-office success The Foster boy [trailer] opposite Katja Riemann and Stefan Kurt. He has also been cast in a minor role for Night train to Lisbon by Bille August, which is scheduled to be released in the cinemas in 2013.
Antonia Campbell-Hughes - Ireland
"29-year-old Antonia Campbell-Hughes received rave reviews for her supporting performance in Jane Campion's Cannes competition film Bright star [trailer] in 2009. She received a 'Rising Star' nomination at the 2011 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards and has been named a 'Star of Tomorrow' by Screen International. Antonia has since had leading roles in Alexandra McGuinness' comedy drama Lotus eaters; Rebecca Daly's thriller The other side of sleep [trailer], Johannes Robert’s Storage 24 and Kieran Evans' Kelly & Victor as well as a supporting role in Rodrigo Garcia's Albert Nobbs.
Isabella Ragonese - Italy
The 30 year-old playwright Isabella Ragonese graduated from Michele Perriera's Scuola Teatès in 2000 and made her film acting debut with a small role in Emanuele Crialese's Golden door [trailer, film focus] in 2006. She followed this with leads in Paolo Virzi's Her whole life ahead [trailer] - which earned her a Nastro d'Argento nomination and the Premio “Guglielmo Biraghi” and in Donatella Maiorca's historical drama Purple sea. Her performances in One life maybe two and Our life [trailer] won the Nastro d'Argento in 2010 and were nominated for this year's David di Donatello Awards. In 2010, she could be seen at the Venice Film Festival in the lead of Giorgia Cecere's The first assignment. Isabella has since worked on Silvio Muccino's Another world and Massimo Venier's Il giorno in più [trailer]. 2011 is also the year of her comeback at the theatre with two plays.
Jakub Gierszał - Poland
23 - year old Jakub Gierszał spent part of his childhood in Hamburg and has family ties in the Polish city of Toruń and Berlin. He will soon be graduating from the National Theatre Academy of his native Cracow, where he played the role of Hamlet in his graduation work. Jakub made his screen acting debut in Jacek Borcuch's All that I love in 2008 and followed it with a supporting role in Andrzej Kondratiuk's On million dollar in 2009. His first lead as Dominik in Jan Komasa's Suicide room was premiered in the Panorama Special at the 2011 Berlinale film festival. In 2010/2011 he played a leading role in Piotr Mularuk's feature film YUMA which is now in post production. Jakub is currently working on Jacek Borcuch's latest feature Lasting Moments (working title) appearing opposite Spanish actors Angela Molina and Juanjo Ballesta.