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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Shooting Stars Initiative Showcases Rising European Stars at Berlinale

by admin

As a member of the International Network of Casting Directors, Lana participates in European Film Promotion’s annual Shooting Stars program in Berlin, which takes place in February during the international film festival.

This year’s program included Alexander Fehling (Germany), Alicia Vikander (Sweden), Andrea Riseborough (U.K.), Clara Lago (Spain), Domhnall Gleeson (Ireland), Marija Skaricic (Croatia), Natasha Petrovic (Macedonia), Nik Xhelilaj (Albania), Pilou Asbaek (Denmark) and Sylvia Hoeks (Netherlands)

The Hollywood Reporter’s Karsten Kastelan spoke to Lana on her way to the festival:

Shooting Stars Initiative Showcases Rising European Stars at Berlinale
The Hollywood Reporter
February 13, 2011
by Karsten Kastelan

Up-and-coming actors spotlighted by the talent selection program in the past include Rachel Weisz, Daniel Craig and Carey Mulligan.

While it’s become a breeze for tourists to cross European borders, European films don’t travel as easily.

A French comedy that generates lines around the block in Paris might attract five people and a dog in Hamburg and not even generate enough interest to be pirated in Poland.

This sobering situation is bad news for European filmmakers, but for young actors it’s even worse. Having generated some heat at home gives them a good shot at another picture or two, but — especially in smaller markets — local recognition does not lead to constant employment or, of course, a shot at the big prize: an international (read: Hollywood) career.

The Shooting Stars program has been battling this isolationist trend for the past 13 years by bringing up-and-coming European actors to the Berlinale and introducing them to the world — and vice versa. Founded and organized by European Film Promotion, whose 31-member organization from 32 countries supply the talent, the initiative was greeted with much backslapping, but also encountered criticism at times, with naysayers pointing out the obvious flaws of the system.

One of them was that countries could simply hand their nationally established actors a ticket to Berlin, which lead to the number of Shooting Stars ballooning up to 25 in 2007.

This practice was discontinued in 2008 — and now an international jury chooses 10 young actors to share the spotlight. “Presenting 25 to 26 actors at the Berlinale became difficult to handle,” explains Karin Dix, who runs Shooting Stars under the auspices of EFP managing director Renate Rose. Dix’s comment rings even truer now that Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia and Albania have joined EFP — especially since countries with a smaller output would be hard pressed to come up with an ideal candidate every year. Others agree that a lower number of actors benefits both sides: “You get to spend a lot of time with the actors and you get to know their personalities. That’s great from a casting point of view,” says casting agent Lana Veenker (Twilight), who became involved with the Shooting Stars after the selection was tightened.

Link to full article.