Variety has unveiled its third edition of 10 Europeans to Watch, highlighting 10 talents from across the Continent who are all poised for breakthroughs in 2017. The group will be feted at a reception hosted by Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg at the upcoming Berlin Intl. Film Festival.
The 2017 Europeans to Watch:
Berger’s 2014 film “Jack,” which he wrote and directed, played in competition at Berlin — starring Ivo Pietzcker, one of Variety’s 2016 Europeans to Watch. He directed five episodes of the international hit thriller “Deutschland 83” — winning an Intl. Emmy — and is shooting series “The Terror” for AMC and Scott Free. Starring Jared Harris and Tobias Menzies, it is set to bow this year. Next up: “The Englishman,” a thriller starring Paul Dano and produced by Working Title.
Liv Lisa Fries
Fries has been garnering critical attention for such pics as “Zurich,” “The Dam,” and “Heil,” and while she is acclaimed in Germany, her star is about to rise higher with the drama series “Babylon Berlin,” from Sky Deutschland, ARD Degeto, X Filme and Beta Film. She’s at the center of the series, set in the glamorous and decadent 1920s Berlin.
The young thespian stars in Agnieszka Holland’s 2017 Berlin pic, the thriller “Spoor,” and has auteur Urszula Antoniak’s “Beyond Words” on deck. Last year, the busy Gierszal appeared in Sundance favorites “Morris From America” and “The Lure” from Polish helmer Agnieszka Smoczynska. His breakout movie, Jan Komasa’s “The Suicide Room,” brought him critical attention in 2011.
Hoeks has appeared in several Dutch features and television series, and has been garnering critical kudos for such films as “Tirza” and Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Best Offer,” but now she’s poised for broader exposure in “Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villenueve’s sequel to the Ridley Scott pic, set for release this year.
A fruitful relationship with filmmaker Maren Ade has yielded “Toni Erdmann,” which wowed Cannes last year and has been a front-runner for the foreign-language Oscar ever since. She’s worked with some of the most exciting helmers in Europe.
“They Call Me Jeeg,” which he also produced, was a big hit in Italy (taking in more than $5 million at the box office), won seven David Awards in 2016 and sold widely internationally, including to the U.S. via distributor Uncork’d. Mainetti will soon shoot a new pic, which is still under wraps, produced by Lucky Red.
The star of the international hit series “Deutschland 83” is attached to sequel “Deutschland 86,” and has earned kudos not only for the series, but also films such as “We Are Young. We are Strong.”
Okorn, following the success of his Polish hits “Letters to Santa” and “Planet Single,” will direct “Life in a Year,” written by Jeffrey Addiss & Will Matthews, with Jaden Smith and Cara Delevingne attached to star.
Pront’s first short film, “Plan B,” about the drug scene in Antwerp and its effects on society, won the award for best short at the Leuven Film Festival, as well as the Public’s Choice award. His debut feature, “The Ardennes,” bowed at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival and repped Belgium’s foreign-language Oscar entry.
The thespian stars in Berlin entry “On Body and Soul,” from Hungarian auteur Ildiko Enyedi, and has worked with helmers such as Ferenc Torok, Istvan Szabo and Eva Gardos, with whom she’s shooting “Budapest Noir.”