Friday, February 18, 2011



Photo © Markus Nass

At a press conference on Monday, February 14th.
Back row: Nik Xhelilaj (Albania), Domhnall Gleeson (Ireland),
Pilou Asbæk (Denmark), Alexander Fehling (Germany).
Front row: Alicia Vikander (Sweden), Marija Škaričić (Croatia), Natasha Petrovic (FYR Macedonia),
Clara Lago (Spain), Andrea Riseborough (United Kingdom), Sylvia Hoeks (The Netherlands).

Every year, at the Berlin International Film Festival (BIFF / Berlinale), young, exciting actors are named by the EFP (European Film Promotion Network) as SHOOTING STARS! Many of those named over the last few years have gone on to become among the world's biggest, most important, and most brilliant international stars. Here are some of the most famous participants in the Shooting Stars Program:

Moritz Bleibtreu - Germany - 1999
Daniel Bruhl - Germany - 2003
Daniel Craig - UK - 2000
Cecile de France - France - 2003
Anamaria Marinca - Romania - 2008
Carey Mulligan - UK - 2009
Ludivine Sagnier - France - 2001
Rachel Weisz - UK - 1998

Some other Shooting Stars are well known internationally, but slightly less famous in the US so far (watch for them!),

Sarah Bolger - Ireland - 2009
Hannah Herzsprung - Germany - 2008
Nina Hoss - Germany - 2000
David Kross - Germany - 2009
Franke Potente - Germany - 1998
Alba Rohrwacher - Italy - 2009

Nina Hoss, incidentally, is a member of this year's jury at the Berlin Film Festival.

For the last few years, several Shooting Stars have attended the Hampton's International Film Festival (HIFF) in October, joining the HIFF Rising Stars for the Hamptons' Breakthrough Performers program. In 2008, Anamaria Marinca and Hannah Herzsprung were among the visitors to the Hamptons. In 2009, Alba Rohrwacher (I Am Love) was a visitor.

Here's a story about last year's (2010) program:

Here's a list of this year's Shooting Stars:

Pilou Asbæk (Johan Philip Asbaek)- Denmark
Alexander Fehling - Germany
Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
Sylvia Hoeks - The Netherlands
Clara Lago (Clara Lago Grau)- Spain
Natasha Petrovic (Natasa Petrovic) - FYR of Macedonia
Andrea Riseborough - United Kingdom
Marija Skaricic - Croatia
Alicia Vikander - Sweden
Nik Xhelilaj (Kreshnik Xhelilaj) - Albania

This year, more than usual I think, many of the Shooting Stars have appeared in films that have been seen in the US. Domhnall Gleeson actually appeared on stage here, garnering a Tony nomination for his perfomance in Martin McDonagh's "The Lieutenant of Inishmore" on Broadway. Domhnall was also in True Grit, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts I & II) and, together with Andrea Riseborough, in Never Let Me Go. Andrea also appeared in Made in Dagenham. Sylvia Hoeks was seen in The Storm, the Opening Night film at the Stony Brook Film Festival last year. And Alexander Fehling was seen in Inglorius Basterds.

Like Andrea and Domhnall, Shooting Stars have often appeared in films together. Marija Skaricic and the 2010 Shooting Star Zrinka Cvitesic were both in "What's A Man Without A Moustache?". And Alexander Fehling was in Storm (different from Sylvia's The Storm) together with 2008 Shooting Star Anamaria Marinca.

We'll have to see whether some of this year's Shooting Stars will bring their films to the Hamptons. Hopefully, quite a few of these charismatic actors will be able to visit HIFF with their films in October.

Here some additional info about these actors, plus photos:

Nik Xhelilaj - Albania
Photo © Edvina Meta

Nik Xhelilaj
(Kreshnik Xhelilaj) - Albania
1983-03-05 - 27

=>Born in Tirana, Albania, Nik Xhelilaj graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts there in 2008.
=>His film acting debut was the short SINGLE USE (Erion Hasanllari, 2005).
=>He had lead roles in
-- Piro and Eno Milkani's Albanian-Czech co-production SORROW OF MRS. SCHNEIDER (2008)
--and Artan Minarolli's ALIVE! (2008).
=>In 2010, the German-Albanian co-production THE ALBANIAN (Johannes Naber, 2010), earned him
-- the Silver George for 'Best Actor' at the 32nd Moscow International Film Festival
--the 'Best Actor' award at the 2nd PriFilmFest in Prishtina, Kosovo
--and the 'Best Actor' award at the 47th International Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival.

Pilou Asbek - Denmark
Photo © Isak Hoffmeyer

Pilou Asbæk (Johan Philip Asbaek)- Denmark
1982-03-02 28

=>Born in Copenhagen, Pilou Asbæk graduated from The Danish National School of Theatre in 2008.
=> He made his screen debut with Niels Arden Oplev's WORLDS APART, and was nominated for Danish TV 2 Zulu's People's Choice Award as 'Best Supporting Actor'.
=>In 2009, Pilou portrayed a crippled Iraq veteran in the EMMY-nominated DR TV series "The Killing II".
=>2010 saw Pilou in his first lead role in Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm's R, as the prisoner "R".
=>Pilou starred in Pernille Fischer Christensen's A FAMILY, in competition, and winner of the International Film Critics' FIPRESCI Award for Best Film, at the 2010 Berlinale.

Sylvia Hoeks - The Netherlands
Photo © Ron Stam

Sylvia Hoeks
- The Netherlands
1983-06-01 - 28

=>Sylvia Hoeks was born in Maarheeze, The Netherlands.
=>At 14 she began working with Elite models.
=>She studied at the Maastricht Theatre Academy.
=>For Jos Stelling's DUSKA (2007), Sylvia won the 'Best Supporting Actress' Golden Calf at the annual Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht.
=>She appeared in "Vuurzee (Vara)" and "Bloedverwanten (Avro)" on Dutch TV.
=>Her first lead role was in Ben Sombogaart's THE STORM (2009), which opened the Stony Brook Film Festival (NY, USA);
=>At Portugal's Festroia International Film Festival she was named 'Best Actress,' also for THE STORM.
=>In 2010, she starred in the title role of Rudolf van den Berg's TIRZA, The Netherlands' official submission for the Academy Awards 2011.

Natasha Petrovic - FYR of Macedonia
Photo © Robert Jankuloski

Natasha Petrovic (Natasa Petrovic) - FYR of Macedonia
1988 ~23

=>Natasha Petrovic was born in Stip, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
=>She has been studying drama in the Faculty of Dramatic Arts of the Sts. Cyril and Methodi University in Skopje since 2007 and will graduate in 2011.
=>Her first feature film role was Milcho Manchevski's SHADOWS which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and was the national Academy Award submission in 2008.
=>In 2009, she played the lead role of Samira in Juanita Wilson's feature debut AS IF I AM NOT THERE. For this performance, Natasha is nominated for 'Best International Actress Film' at this year's Irish Film & TV Awards.

Marija Skaricic - Croatia
Photo © Mare Milin

Marija Skaricic
- Croatia
1977-08-06 - 33 -- 5-5

=>Marija Škaricic was born in Split, Croatia.
=>She trained at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb.
=>Her first leading role in A WONDERFUL NIGHT IN SPLIT (Arsen A. Ostojic, 2004) earned her the Heart of Sarajevo award for 'Best Actress' at the Sarajevo Film Festival.
=>She co-starred alongside Zrinka Cvitešic and Leon Lucev in the romantic comedy WHAT IS A MAN WITHOUT A MOUSTACHE? (Hrvoje Hribar, 2005).
=>In 2006, she garnered another Heart of Sarajevo for FRAULEIN by Andrea Štaka.
=>Her recent films (which both premiered at the 2010 Berlinale) include
--Burhan Qurbani's debut feature SHAHADA
--and Zvonimir Juric's short YELLOW MOON.
=>For her role in Dalibor Matanic's MOTHER OF ASPHALT, she won the Golden Arena for 'Best Actress in a Leading Role' at the 57th Pula Film Festival as well as the FIPA d'Or Grand Prize.

Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
Photo © Danny Prussmaan

Domhnall Gleeson - Ireland
1983 27 6-1

=>Domhnall Gleeson studied Media Arts at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
=>He made his film acting debut in Martin McDonagh's short SIX SHOOTER (2004).
=>In 2006, he earned a Tony Award nomination for his part in the Broadway production "The Lieutenant of Inishmore".
=>He followed this with an Irish Theatre Award nomination for 'Best Supporting Actor' for his role in "American Buffalo" at the Gate Theatre in 2007.
=>On screen
--He played the lead in the Irish feature SENSATION (Tom Hall, 2010).
--He was in the 2011 Berlinale opening film TRUE GRIT (Ethan and Joel Coen, 2010).
--He appeared along with Andrea Riseborough and Keira Knightley in NEVER LET ME GO (Mark Romanek, 2009).
--He was also in A DOG YEAR (George LaVoo, 2006).
--Domnhall appeared alongside his father, Brendan Gleeson, in Paul Mercier's STUDS (2005) and the two parts of HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS.
=>He will be in his father's directorial debut AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS (2011).
=>For his performance in "When Harvey Met Bob" he is nominated for 'Best Actor in a lead role TV' at this years' Irish Film & TV Awards (IFTA).

Clara Lago - Spain
Photo © Kuranda

Clara Lago
(Clara Lago Grau)- Spain
1990-03-06 - 21

=>Madrid-born Clara Lago was only ten years old when she auditioned for her first role.
=>Two years later she won a Goya Awards nomination as 'Best Emerging Actress' for her title role in Imanol Uribe's CAROL'S JOURNEY (2002).
=>Since then, Clara has been able to follow an acting career and continue her school education, which included a year's schooling in the United States.
=>Her films have included
--YOUR NEXT LIFE (2004) by Manuel Gutiérrez,
--Manuel Gomez Pereira's THE HANGED MAN (2009)
--Oskar Santos' FOR THE GOOD OF OTHERS (2010)
--and then Arévalo's new comedy PRIMOS
--and Andi Baiz's BUNKER in Colombia.

Andrea Riseborough - UK
Photo © Niall OBrien

Andrea Riseborough
- United Kingdom
1981-10-27 - 29 -- 5-7

=>Andrea Riseborough graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in 2005.
=>She won the 2006 Ian Charleson Award, for exceptional classical stage work from actors under 30, for her performances in "Miss Julie" and "Measure For Measure".
=>In 2009, Andrea was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for her portrayal of the young Margaret Thatcher in the TV drama "The Long Walk To Finchley".
=>She made her film acting debut in Roger Michell's VENUS (2006)
=>and has followed with
--HAPPY GO LUCKY (Mike Leigh, 2008),
--NEVER LET ME GO (Mark Romanek, 2010)
--WE WANT SEX (Nigel Cole, 2010)
--BRIGHTON ROCK (Rowan Joffe 2010)
--and W.E. (2011) as Wallis Simpson, under the direction of Madonna.

Alexander Fehling - Germany
Photo © Joachim Gern

Alexander Fehling - Germany
1981 ~29

=>Alexander Fehling studied acting at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst "Ernst Busch" from 2003-2007.
=>He made his film debut in Robert Thalheim's AND ALONG COME TOURISTS (2006), for which he received the Young German Cinema Award as 'Best Actor' at the Filmfest München in 2007.
=>He had supporting roles in Heinrich Breloer's BUDDENBROOKS (2007), Hans-Christian Schmid's STORM (2008), and Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009).
=>He had leading roles in
--Frieder Wittich's 13 SEMESTER (2009)
--Philipp Stölzl's GOETHE!
--Andres Veiel's fiction feature debut IF NOT US, WHO?, which will have its world premier in Competition at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival.
--Jan Zabeil's THE ART OF DYING and
--NIEMANDSLAND (working title) directed by Toke Constantin Hebbeln.

(Note: 2011-02-19 -- IF NOT US, WHO?, won the "Alfred Bauer Prize" -- for broadening the horizons of the art of filmmaking -- today at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.)

Alicia Vikander - Sweden
Photo © Marica Rosengard

Alicia Vikander - Sweden
1988-10-03 - 22

=>Alicia was born in Gothenburg, Sweden.
=>She made her big-screen acting debut in Lisa Langseth's PURE (aka BELOVED) which won the Flash-Forward Award at the 2010 Pusan International Film Festival.
=>For the role of Katarina in PURE she was awarded 'Best Actress' at the 2011 Guldbagge Awards.
=>Most recently, Alicia had a lead role in Ella Lemhagen's CROWN JEWELS (2011).

-- LOVE'S FINE WIT -- Shakespeare's sonnets selected and rearranged to dramatize the story of an intense love triangle, with Elizabethan music. One night only: April 23 6:00 at the Cornelia Street Cafe - 29 Cornelia Street NY 212 989-9319.

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