European Shooting Stars: 10 Up-and-Coming Performers
European Shooting Stars, a Europe-wide initiative to draw attention to up-and-coming performers coordinated by European Film Promotion, has launched many young actors into the international film scene. From Feb. 8-11, the 10 actors selected for the 2019 edition will participate in profile-raising workshops, as well as meetings with producers and casting directors, all designed to foster their professional networks.
Elliott Crosset Hove
With dual U.S.-Danish citizenship (thanks to a Danish father and an American mother), the bilingual Crosset Hove is perfectly positioned to work internationally. His lead actor kudo from the 2018 Locarno fest for his idiosyncratic work in “Winter Brothers” made casting directors take notice. Since then, he has chalked up credits in Danish films such as “The Purity of Vengeance,” “Before the Frost” and the forthcoming “Wildland,” and will be working on a stage version of “Shakespeare in Love” at Copenhagen’s Osterbro Theatre this spring. Filmmakers on his wish list include Lars Von Trier, Hlynur Pálmason and Paul Thomas Anderson.
A contemporary dance graduate, the graceful Drogunova was born in Siberia and moved to Berlin at a young age. In addition to German, she speaks Russian, English and French. After turning heads in the Austrian film “The Tobacconist,” she plays one of the leads in the forthcoming “Bonnie & Bonnie,” a love story between two girls from very different worlds. “I would love to work with German director Christian Schwochow, who recently made the series ‘Bad Banks.’ Internationally, it would be awesome to work with Xavier Dolan, Spike Lee or Martin McDonagh. They all have such uniqueness in their work,” she says.
Checking in from Jordan, where he is shooting “Can You See the Moon, Daniel?,” Esmaili recounts his busy schedule since his performance in the prize-winning romantic thriller “The Charmer.” He appeared in Brian De Palma’s “Domino” and recently finished shooting “Sea Fever” in Ireland. He’s also filming a Swedish TV series for SVT in northern Finland called “The White Wall” and preparing another series for Sweden’s Channel 4. Raised in Sweden by Iranian parents, he is fluent in Swedish, Farsi and English and dreams of working with filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, Paul Thomas Anderson and Asghar Farhadi.
A classically trained singer and pianist, who is fluent in Italian and studied French and Spanish at Trinity College, Franciosi boasts some high-profile credits, including a turn as the young Lyanna Stark in “Game of Thrones” and the lead in Jennifer Kent’s historical revenge tale “The Nightingale.” Who are her dream directors? “I would love to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze, Luca Guadagnino, Wes Anderson, Kathryn Bigelow and Andrea Arnold,” she says. In Berlin, she is looking forward to making connections with other industry professionals. She notes, “It’s rare to get an opportunity to talk one-to-one like this.”
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Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir
Born in Reykjavik and raised in Scotland, England and Iceland, the versatile Haraldsdottir works in film (“And Breathe Normally,” “Let Me Fall”), theater and television, playing roles that range from comedy to drama and classical to modern. The multilingual actress recently finished shooting an Icelandic crime series called “The Valhalla Murders” and will soon begin rehearsing Moliere’s “Tartuffe” at the National Theatre of Iceland. Her filmmaker wish list includes Andrea Arnold, Susanne Bier and Mike Leigh. “Their films have a tone that I love,” she says. “I find the characters their actors portray incredibly authentic, raw and true.”
A riveting star of stage and screen, Lest created waves as the lead of the internationally distributed “November.” Next up is the main role in the forthcoming “Scandinavian Silence,” directed by Martti Helde, another eminent Estonian stylist. She is fluent in English, can manage Russian and has learned Spanish. “Language school is one place I’m planning to spend some time in this year,” she says. Her dream is to work with passionate, creative people, with whom she shares a certain mutual understanding, respect and trust. For example? “Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, Mike Leigh, Yorgos Lanthimos, Quentin Tarantino and the Safdie brothers.”
Tall, dark and handsome, Maric shone at the 2018 Berlinale as the lead of the competition title “Dovlatov,” about the Russian writer. Fluent in Russian and English, he is working on compatriot helmer Srdan Golubovic’s “The Father” and the series “Hide and Seek.” He’s also a member of the Yugoslav Drama Theatre and continues to perform in their repertoire. For his filmmaker wish list, he says: “I have two names on my mind. The first is definitely Joachim Trier, a Norwegian who directed ‘Oslo, August 31st.’ There is also Yorgos Lanthimos, who directed amazing movies and whose work I really admire.”
Acclaimed for his physically transformative performances as real-life people in films such as “Life Feels Good” and “The Last Family,” Ogrodnik also made a strong impression as a jazz musician in “Ida.” In the forthcoming “The Icarus,” he plays the blind jazz pianist Mieczysław Kosz. He will also be seen in “Dark, Almost Night” and “Broad Peak.” He has performed in Portuguese in “O Grande Circo Mistico” and in English in “Oleg.” “Each part is a different adventure,” he says. “I try to focus on emotions, feelings and images that I get after meeting people I am about to portray.”
A member of Macedonia’s National Theatre company with more than 50 roles to his credit, Veselinov attracted the attention of international audiences with his leading role in the Macedonian Oscar submission “Secret Ingredient.” In the past six months, he’s had more work than he ever dreamed of. He says: “I’m working on two plays, with ‘Macbeth’ coming up. I had parts in two movies now in post-production. One is ‘Grandfather and Grandson,’ a Macedonian movie, and the Slovenian movie ‘All Against All.’ ” Fluent in English and with a good knowledge of other Slavic languages, he hopes to someday act in a science fiction film.
Ine Marie Wilmann
The multilingual Wilmann took the spotlight at the recent Sundance and Gothenburg festivals for her starring role in “Sonja — The White Swan,” a biopic of figure skater Sonja Henie, who took Hollywood by storm in 1936. As for directors, Wilmann says, “the most important thing to me is [that] there is a genuine engagement and that they are really passionate about the story and why we should share it with the world. I think there are a lot of interesting female filmmakers and new voices to look out for.” Wilmann is also writing and developing material and looks forward to eventually directing as well.