Another successful edition of ReActing as a Star wrapped!

    Another successful edition of ReActing as a Star wrapped! credit: Samo Pauser, Marko Bura

    European casting directors thrilled with ReActing actors!

    The third edition of the international Industry Networking program ReActing as a Star, dedicated to networking among actors from the region with European casting directors, as well as film directors and European casting directors, and increasing their mobility and representation in the European film industry, took place from June 14 to 16 in Kranj, Slovenia during the KRAFFT acting film festival. Under the motto 'Play locally, Act Internationally!', this year's edition of the professional development program saw the participation of 15 talented actors from the region who, over three activity-filled days, developed their skills and built long-term connections with each other.

    This year's program began on June 14 with a conversation entitled Casting as the Foundation of Film Creation, featuring Aida Begić, a regional director with numerous international film successes, and Timka Grin, Chair of the International Casting Directors Association, who has collaborated with Aida on many of these projects. The discussion, moderated by film scholar Nebojša Jovanović, saw the speakers describe their long-term collaborative process and emphasize the importance of developing casting as a discipline within the region. "If a shot is filled with objects, colors, and lighting, each segment carefully chosen, studied, and assembled into a meaningful whole, then you can imagine the importance of selecting the living people who will be in that shot," Begić commented after the discussion, adding; "Having followed this program from the very beginning, I think it enriches the actors participating each year immensely, just as it does for us lecturers who work with them."

    The second day began with a presentation of actors from the ReActing platform, led and moderated by writer and journalist Srđan Sandić. The selected regional actresses and actors who introduced themselves to the audience through showreels and brief conversations included Alenka Kraigher, Andrei Lenart, and Klara Kuk from Slovenia; Jelena Stupljanin, Mladen Sovilj, and Nikola Pavlović from Serbia; Jelena Simić and Milivoje Obradović from Montenegro; Antonio Scarpa, Ivana Roščić, Jona Zupković, and Rea Bušić from Croatia; Igor Skvarica and Nadine Mičić from Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Natalija Teodosieva from North Macedonia. "The opportunity to meet in a context that is not an audition or tied to a specific project, but rather about interaction and interview, where actors can ask questions and we can learn more about them, allows us to be part of a broader creative process that will positively impact both the region and international casting," stated British casting director Sam Jones after the presentation.

    Special guests included famous Swedish-Danish actor Jakob Cedergren and Croatian-Danish star Zlatko Burić. Through two masterclasses conducted under the ReActing motto 'Act locally, perform internationally!', they discussed their practices and experiences in cross-border and cross-language work throughout their impressive and diverse careers. Burić, a regional actor with an international resume, also recognized the value of the program itself, stating, "Hooray, hooray, yippee! Let people from the region and beyond meet, chat, and share visions, something always comes out of it."

    The program of the second day also featured a panel discussion entitled Actors on the International Stage, where participants had the opportunity to learn about the work and perspectives of renowned casting directors from various parts of Europe. The panelists included Timka Grin from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sam Jones from the United Kingdom, Laura Muccino from Italy, Anders Nygaard from Denmark, as well as French agent Alice Walrafen who represented the globally renowned agency Adéquat. With great interest from participants and numerous curious questions from the audience, the panelists discussed topics such as the methodology of approaching self-tapes, the advantages and disadvantages of online casting, and the protection and rights of actors during the casting process. "I am happy that I and many others finally have the opportunity to participate in such an event. I believe this is exactly what we lacked — networking with various casting directors who are not only regional but also international," stated Ivana Roščić, one of the program participants.

    On Sunday, June 16, the whole day was dedicated to the ReActing workshop with the aim of strengthening collaboration between actors, directors, and casting directors. Under the title Camera, Camera By the Wall, Who’s the Best for the Part of Them All?, the workshop saw Slovenian director Maja Križnik and Croatian director Miroslav Sikavica, who are preparing their debut feature films, collaborate with internationally recognized casting directors. Together with the workshop participants, they went through the developmental process from recording self-tapes to simulating live casting for upcoming films. "I met many actors in the ReActing program and I am impressed by their quality; they are extremely professional," commented Danish casting director Anders Nygaard, one of the workshop coordinators.

    Regarding the conclusion of the third edition of the program, Tina Hajon, the creator and leader of the ReActing project, stated: “I am very pleased that the experiences of the participants reflect the vision of ReActing, which for the third consecutive year provides a creative and free space for the development of mature regional actors and talents. The program was very intense, and time flew by as we enjoyed the discussions and interactions. International casting directors and directors expressed great interest in our actors, and the collaboration was very fruitful, which brings us immense joy.”

    The successful previous editions of ReActing as a Star, the only industry program in the region focused on actors, included masterclasses and workshops by director Teona Strugar Mitevska, actors Branka Katić, Leon Lučev, and Jelena Graovac Lučev, Nathalie Chéron (casting director for films by Luc Besson), Yngvill Kolset Hage (casting director for The Worst Person in the World by Joachim Trier), and Cassandra Han (casting director for Terrence Malick's A Hidden Life and James Mangold's Ford v. Ferrari). Additionally, the event was also joined by directors Damjan Kozole, Srđan Golubović, and Dubravka Turić.

    The international program ReActing as a Star was launched in 2022 as a networking event where international casting directors and agents have since been introduced to around forty actors from the region.

    ReActing as a Star is an initiative of the Slovenian Film Centre and the associations Pari Pikule and Secret Arts Cinema, who are the producers of the project, in collaboration with film funds and centers from Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, as well as the educational program Training and Skills of the industrial section of the Sarajevo Film Festival - CineLink Industry Days, and the European Film Academy, the International Casting Directors Association (ICDA), the platform Filmmakers.eu, and the KRAFT Film Festival. Additionally, for the second consecutive year, the program carries the European Film Academy's Knowledge Sharing Label, which aims to support outstanding projects that connect individuals eager to share knowledge with those willing to listen and learn.