Shooting Stars shine

Fest introduces 10 of Europe's leading young thesps

The spotlight was on this year’s Shooting Stars at the Berlinale on Monday, as the fest introduced 10 of Europe’s leading young thesps at a presser prior to the evening’s Shooting Stars Award ceremony at the Berlinale Palast.

The European Film Promotion initiative has become a huge career booster for an ever increasing number of young actors, and Germany’s Anna Maria Muehe hopes it will finally land her a comedy or action role.

Muehe has worked in such diverse dramas as 2008’s “November Child” and the recently-released “Cracks in the Shell,” both from director Christian Schwochow, as well as Julie Delpy’s “The Countess” and Hans W. Geissendoerfer’s “In the World You Have Fear.”

The 26-year-old actress, who comes from a famous German acting family, is now eager for a change. “I would love to do a comedy or an action movie. I want to run around and shoot something.”

For Swede Bill Skarsgard, who’s also from a famous acting clan, establishing his own credentials hasn’t always been easy. Of course he’s felt the pressure brought on by his family’s fame, “but I try not to think about it at all,” said Skarsgard, adding that he never liked the sound of being “the fourth Skarsgard” but nevertheless fell in love with the profession. He stars in Generation 14plus screener “The Crown Jewels,” by Ella Lemhagen. Skarsgard also appears in Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina” alongside Keira Knightley.

Romania’s Ana Ularu, who starred in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Youth Without Youth,” praised her country’s creative cinematic output, but questioned what some refer to as Romania’s New Wave. “These people are creative individuals and want to be considered as such.”

The U.K.’s Riz Ahmed applauded the diverse and challenging stories being told by European filmmakers and added that the amount of co-production activity made it an especially interesting time to be working in Europe. Ahmed appeared in Mat Whitecross and Michael Winterbottom’s “The Road to Guantanamo,” Chris Morris’ “Four Lions” and Jean-Jacques Annaud’s “Black Gold,” which shot in Tunisia during the start of the Arab Spring last year. He also stars in Winterbottom’s upcoming “Trishna,” a European co-production between the U.K. and Sweden.

This year’s other Shooting Stars are Jakub Gierszat, Isabella Ragonese, Hilmar Gudjonsson, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Adele Haenel and Max Hubacher.

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