The Casting Scoop

Get the inside scoop on upcoming castings, workshops and premieres, plus audition tips, Oregon film news and more.

Cast Iron Studios announces 2018 Talent Diversity Initiative Scholars

While TNT is no longer participating as a fiscal sponsor of Cast Iron Studios’ Talent Diversity Initiative (TDI), the Portland Film Office and Oregon Film Office both expressed a wish to continue supporting the program, whose goal is to increase opportunities for actors of color in our market.

Thanks to them, and to the generous sponsorship of several of our top local acting coaches, including Katie O’Grady of The Studio NW/Acting for Kids & Teens, Ted Rooney, Scott Rogers Studios, Kristina Haddad of The Actor’s Lab, and Shelly Lipkin, we were able to offer scholarships to 17 local actors to attend the acting course of their choice.

Special thanks go out to Brian Lord of the Portland Film Office/Prosper Portland, who encouraged us to keep the program going, even if on a smaller scale; to Tim Williams, Executive Director of Oregon Film, for his unwavering support over the years; and to the coaches, who helped us to nearly double the value of our available funds.

We are thrilled to have these wonderful and talented actors as part of this year’s Talent Diversity Initiative!

Kady Lorenz
Eva Calderon
Kayla Banks
Angela Chandra
Anthony Martore
Bobbi Mackenzie
Billy Boudavong
Tom Avila
Connie Wellman

Grace London
Tonea Lolin
James Dixon
Jenny Meeker
Renee Rose
Gihee Jong
Noelle Rainey
Anna Clark


From left to right: Kady Lorenz, Eva Calderon, Kayla Banks, Angela Chandra, Anthony Martore, Bobbi Mackenzie, Billy Boudavong, Tom Avila, Connie Wellman, Grace London, Tonea Lolin, James Dixon, Jenny Meeker, Renee Rose, Gihee Jong, Noelle Rainey, and Anna Clark.

AM Northwest Oregon Film & TV Update, Summer 2018

Despite the productions of “Grimm,” “Portlandia” and “The Librarians” all coming to an end, show business is still booming in Oregon right now!

Casting Director Lana Veenker stopped by KATU’s AM Northwest on August 27, 2018 with a film and TV update.

Here’s the clip, in case you missed it:

Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker nominated for International Casting Director Award

In case you missed it, earlier this month, our own Eryn Goodman and Lana Veenker were nominated–alongside L.A. Casting Director Heidi Levitt–for the 2018 International Casting Director Award for “Bad Samaritan,” directed by Dean Devlin!

Lana was on hand at Sarajevo Film Festival for the Award Ceremony, and also helped her fellow International Casting Directors Network colleagues to produce a week-long program of events focused on the casting profession as part of the Festival. Check out the press release below!

ICDN Casting Directors Tusse Lande (SE), Anja Dihrberg (DE), Lana Veenker (US), Timka Grin (BA), Beatrice Kruger (IT), Debbie McWilliams (UK), Harika Uygur (TU), Magdalena Szwarcbart (PL) and Nancy Bishop (US) pose with 2018 International Casting Director Award Winner Francesco Vedovati (IT) (second from left).

FRANCESCO VEDOVATI WINS 2018 INTERNATIONAL CASTING DIRECTOR AWARD

ICDN Award for Best Casting presented on August 15that 24th Sarajevo Film Festival

(Sarajevo, BA) On August 15th, the International Casting Director Award was presented to Italian Casting Director Francesco Vedovati at Sarajevo Film Festival. Festival President Mirsad Purivatra presided over the Ceremony.

The Award was established in 2016 by the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), and represents the first ever international prize for best casting of a feature film.Board President Beatrice Kruger noted in her opening remarks that casting directors are virtually the only department heads to receive main-titles credit on a film without a corresponding national award (such as an Oscar , César or Lola). The ICDN therefore introduced the prize two years ago at Locarno Film Festival to help increase awareness of the essential role that casting directors play in the production of a film.

Vedovati won for the Matteo Garrone film “Dogman,” which made a splash earlier this year at Cannes. He had previously earned laurels from the Italian press association–the Nastro d’Argento–for Best Casting for the same film.

“This is the second award that I have received for this movie,” said Vedovati, “but for me, this is very special, because it is an award given by colleagues. […] It’s also very important to me, because, in the history of Sarajevo, I am the first casting director to receive an award for casting, so this will remain a part of history.”

2018 International Casting Director Award winner Francesco Vedovati with ICDN Board President Beatrice Kruger and Sarajevo Film Festival Director Mirsad Purivatra.

Casting Directors representing 14 different countries received nominations for the International Casting Director Award:

ROMANIA

FLORENTINA BRATFANOF
Touch Me Not
by Adina Pintilie

SWEDEN

JEANETTE KLINTBERG*
Sami Blood
by Amanda Kernel

SPAIN

CAMILLA-VALENTINE ISOLA*
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
by Terry Gilliam

ITALY

FRANCESCO VEDOVATI*
Dogman
by Matteo Garrone

GERMANY

ANJA DIHRBERG*
Casting Willi Herold:
JACQUELINE RIETZ
The Captain
by Robert Schwentke

IRELAND

AMY ROWAN*
CARLA STRONGE
Kissing Candice
by Aoife McArdle

NORWAY

METTE HOLME NIELSEN*
BELINDA SØRENSEN
U – JULY 22
by Erik Poppe

THE NETHERLANDS

MARINA WIJN*
Just Friends
by Ellen Smit

ISRAEL

EMMANUELLE MAYER
Scaffolding
by Matan Yair

FRANCE

SARAH TEPER
LEILA FOURNIER
120 Beats per Minute
by Robin Campillo

UNITED KINGDOM

SHAHEEN BAIG
Lady Macbeth
by William Oldroyd

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

TIMKA GRIN* (as Timka Grahic)
Casting Turkish actors:
HARIKA UYGUR*
Never Leave Me
by Aida Begic

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

HEIDI LEVITT
LANA VEENKER*
ERYN GOODMAN
Bad Samaritan
by Dean Devlin

SWITZERLAND

CORINNA GLAUS*
Blue My Mind
by Lisa Brühlmann

 

 

 

*ICDN Members


In addition to the accolade, the ICDN and Sarajevo Film Festival teamed up to present a full program of events centering on the casting profession from August 12th to the 16th. Entitled “Casting at the Heart of Filmmaking,” the program comprised of panels, Q&As, an international acting workshop, a master class through Talents Sarajevo, an Award reception hosted by Spotlight, and “Meals for Monologues,” a food drive/casting call benefiting the refugees of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Participating casting directors included Debbie McWilliams (UK), Beatrice Kruger (IT), Harika Uygur (TU), Anja Dihrberg (DE), Timka Grin (BA), Lana Veenker (USA), Francesco Vedovati (IT), Nancy Bishop (USA), Tusse Lande (SE) and Magdalena Szwarcbart (PL).

“It’s amazing that on behalf of the Festival and myself that I can welcome so many prestigious casting directors to Sarajevo for the first time,” said Festival Director Purivatra. “And I’m quite sure that this week-long program focused on casting is going to be important, not only for you who are members of ICDN, but also for so many talents from the region […]. I hope we will not only build this together as the most prestigious event for casting directors, but that actors and actresses will also be almost queueing here. It’s going be a ‘must’ event.”

ICDN Casting Directors Francesco Vedovati (IT), Debbie McWilliams (UK), Lana Veenker (US), Magdalena Szwarcbart (PL), Harika Uygur (TU) and Beatrice Kruger (IT) pose with Sarajevo Film Festival Director Mirsad Purivatra (rear center).

 

Sarajevo Film Festival puts a spotlight on casting—and on local casting director

Oregon Casting Director Lana Veenker invited to one of Europe’s largest film festivals as part of a weeklong program drawing international focus to the casting profession

(Portland, OR) On August 15, 2018, when the International Casting Director Award is handed over to the winner at this year’s Sarajevo Film Festival in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Oregon casting director Lana Veenker will be on hand.

Not only is Veenker—alongside longtime Portland colleague Eryn Goodman and Los Angeles casting director Heidi Levitt —nominated for Best Casting of a Feature Film (for Bad Samaritan by Dean Devlin), she is part of a team invited by the Festival to produce a special program centered on the casting profession, entitled “Casting at the Heart of Filmmaking.” The program is sponsored by Sarajevo Film Festival, Spotlight, and the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN).

Veenker, who got her start in casting in London and spent a decade abroad before founding her company in Portland in 1999, is one of the only American casting directors to have been inducted into the association. The ICDN currently has more than 80 members hailing from 23 countries, and provides a network for casting directors from around the world to collaborate and exchange ideas. Its members meet each year at Berlin International Film Festival.

Founded in 2005 under the auspices of European Film Promotion’s Shooting Stars program, the ICDN became its own independent association this February at the Berlinale, and Veenker—a member since 2008—was elected to its first official Board of Directors. “It’s funny how things come full circle,” said the Portland native. “Jeremy Zimmermann—the London casting director who gave me my big break—was also elected to the Board, so now we’re working together again after 20 years.”

In less than a week, Veenker will join prominent casting directors from countries such as Italy, Poland, Germany, Turkey and the UK to present a series of events at Sarajevo Film Festival highlighting the art and craft of casting. Included are a master class with Debbie McWilliams (the legendary casting director of the James Bond franchise); a panel featuring Italian casting director Francesco Vedovati (Nastro d’Argento winner for Best Casting for Wondrous Boccaccio, as well as this year’s Cannes breakout hit, Dogman), an international acting workshop for a group of 15 performers selected from the regions of ex-Yugoslavia, and of course, the Award Ceremony, presided over by Festival President Miro Purivatra.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to pull together,” says Veenker, “but what I’m most excited about is that we’re bringing Meals for Monologues to Sarajevo.” Meals for Monologues (first conceived by Chicago casting director Claire Simon, and now practiced by casting companies across the U.S.) is an open casting call/food drive, where actors have the chance to audition in exchange for cans of food for the needy.

Cast Iron Studios, Veenker’s company, has hosted a Meals for Monologues in Portland every year for the past seven years, so when the ICDN Board was debating what it could do for the refugees as part of its Sarajevo program, she jumped in to organize it.

“Meals for Monologues is such a great event, because it’s a win for everyone: The actors get to meet casting directors; we get to discover new talent, and the food bank gets its shelves stocked. In Sarajevo, we’ll have nine or ten internationally-known casting directors auditioning actors from all over former Yugoslavia—a vibrant region with lots of talented, professional performers who rarely get a chance to be seen outside their home countries.” In exchange for their three minutes of fame, actors will make symbolic donations of food, blankets and hygiene supplies. All proceeds will benefit Sarajevo-based non-profit, Pomozi.ba, which provides support and advocacy for the growing number of refugees in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

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