European Film Promotion (EFP) has today revealed the gifted young actors selected as the 2016 European Shooting Stars. Chosen by a jury of industry experts, the ten talents will be presented to the film world during the opening weekend of the 66th Berlin International Film Festival (February 11-21).
Of note, given this blog’s interests, is, from Belgium, actress Martha Canga Antonio (photo above). Her breakout role came this year, when she starred in a feature film titled “Black” from co-directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah – Brussels-based filmmakers of Moroccan descent. The feature film that’s based on the novel of the same name by Dutch author Dirk Bracke, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival 3 months ago. The film tells the story of Mavela, a 15-year-old member of a notorious gang called the Black Bronx. She falls madly in love with Marwan, an extremely charismatic member of a rival gang, known as the 1080s, and the young couple is forced to make a brutal choice between gang loyalty and the love they have for one another. TIFF said that the film has a “gritty realism reminiscent of epic gangster films like ‘City of God’ and ‘Goodfellas,’ ricocheting from moments of extreme tenderness to scenes of extreme violence, and enhanced by the raw performances of its young leads.”
Now in its 19th year, this annual talent platform has developed an impressive reputation for uncovering the international stars of tomorrow. The European Shooting Stars initiative has set some of today’s most acclaimed European newcomers on the path to acting success. Alumni include Alicia Vikander (Sweden), the UK’s Maisie Williams, and others.
At the Berlinale, the ten selected actors and actresses will partake in a specially curated weekend of profile-raising workshops and events, with influential members of the International Casting Directors Network (ICDN), film and television agents and filmmakers, alongside interviews and photo-shoots with international media. Statistically, eight out of ten of the actors awarded the Shooting Stars accolade have been involved in international casting sessions which have directly led to their involvement in one or more international co-productions, following their Berlinale debuts.
So Martha Canga Antonio is a name you should tuck away in your memory banks, as we might be hearing about and seeing more of her in the near future.
The other 2016 European Shooting Stars are:
– Croatia: Tihana Lazović
– France: Lou de Laâge
– Germany: Jella Haase
– Spain: María Valverde
– Iceland: Atli Óskar Fjalarsson
– Italy: Sara Serraiocco
– Netherlands: Reinout Scholten van Aschat
– Greece: Daphné Patakia
– Switzerland: Kacey Mottet Klein
The programme of events at the Berlinale will conclude with the time-honoured red carpet awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast, where the achievements of the young actors are celebrated and each actor presented with an award.