EFP (European Film Promotion) proudly presents the ten best up-and-coming actresses and actors from Europe during the Berlin International Film Festival 2020.

    Dangerous love triangles, committed social workers, spiritual transformations, serial killers, fearless war reporters… welcome to the world of our EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2020! The 23rd edition of EFP’s talent promotion programme will present ten of the best up-and-coming young actresses and actors from Europe from the 21th – 24th February 2020 to the film industry, public and international press during the 70th Berlin International Film Festival (20th February – 1st March 2020).

    The outstanding talents were selected by a jury of industry experts, who deemed them ready to step out onto the international film scene. To support this, the programme offers them the unique opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with over 80 internationally operating casting directors, producers and filmmakers, laying the foundation for a professional network much needed when embarking upon an international career. The programme culminates in an awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on Monday 24th  February, where each actor will be honoured with the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS Award. EFP’s flagship initiative is financially supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the respective national film institutes, EFP’s member organisations.

    It was quite a challenge for the jury to choose the ten best actresses and actors out of this year’s 28 nominations of outstanding European talent, most of them already award-winning in their home countries. Here are the ten, that thrilled the jury the most:  Martina Apostolova from Bulgaria “lends her characters an archetypal power that can connect with all audiences” in Irina (2018), for which she won numerous Best Actress awards from Hong Kong to Tbilisi. In the performance of Estonian Shooting Star Pääru  Oja in Mikhel (2018) they observed “…the soul of a boy that shines in Pääru Oja…you always can find this infectious vitality with him.“ The performance of Victoria Carmen Sonne from Denmark “counters and transforms...challenges with grace, innocence and undaunted levity” as seen in Holiday (2018) for which she received the Danish Bodil Award and a nomination for the Danish Film Award among others. French actress Zita Hanrot convinced the jury because she “embodies and radiates a pure and primal force” as seen in the social drama School Life (2019). For his debut film And Then We Danced (2019), which garnered rave reviews and numerous awards, Levan Gelbakhiani from Georgia also received praise from the experts: “At only 21-years-old, he is already a master of physical elegance and psychological sensitivity”.

    German Shooting Star Jonas Dassler, who plays a serial killer in The Golden Glove (2019), nominated for the German Film Awards, was selected for his “commanding physical presence, bravery and sophistication.” Only 20 years of age, Bilal Wahib from The Netherlands is this year’s youngest Shooting Star, but already an old hand at acting. He started acting at 13 and this year already took on leading roles in two Dutch productions, among them Paradise Drifters (2019), which will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Generation section. Watching his performance the jury was “touched by his childlike gentleness, riveted by his raw ferocity, shaken up by his genuine fears”. Bartosz Bielenia from Poland, who plays the multiaward- winning lead in this year’s shortlisted Polish Oscar nomination Corpus Christi (2019) won the jury over by the way he “with his seemingly infinite faculties...walks the maddening paths of despair and redemption.” In Joana Ribeiro from Portugal, who already worked with Antoine Fuqua and Terry Gilliam, the experts discovered a “spellbinding universe of enchantment and passion, anger and affection” as seen in Crooked Lines (2019). Ella Rumpf from Switzerland enthused them with her versatility. “The world is a stage for this chameleon-like performer that plays both her body and soul like instruments.” A quality proven by her very diverse roles including the film she was nominated with, Sympathy for the Devil (2018).

    EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS is the oldest and most efficient Europe-wide initiative to cast a spotlight on the most talented, up-and-coming actresses and actors. Each year an impressive average of eight out of ten winners will take part in international casting sessions following the award. Since its first showcase in 1998, a total of 312 European Shooting Stars have been presented at the Berlinale, one of the most important international film festivals worldwide. Most notable actors of recent years include: Carey Mulligan (Mudbound), Alba Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro), Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones), Riz Ahmed (The Sisters Brothers), Marwan Kenzari (Instinct) and George MacKay (Captain Fantastic).

    The members of the 2020 jury are: British casting director Lucy Bevan, Finnish director Dome Karukoski, producer Katarína Krnáčová from Slovakia, former Bulgarian Shooting Star turned director Vesela Kazakova, and film journalist Rüdiger Sturm from Germany.

    The European Shooting Stars 2020 are supported by their national film institutes, EFP’s member organisations: Bulgarian National Film Center, Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Georgian National Film Center, German Films, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal), Polish Film Institute, SEE NL (The Netherlands), SWISS FILMS and UniFrance.

    Click HERE for the Shooting Stars bios and HERE for jury comments.

    Last modified on 09-01-2020