2016 Berlin Shooting Stars announced

Eight up-and-coming European acting talents celebrated.

by Amber Wilkinson

The 2016 shooting stars.
The 2016 shooting stars. Photo: Top row from left: Filip Van Roe, Ana Mihalic, Eric Guillemain, Janita Sassen, Debora Brune; Bottom row from left: Ruben Vega, Magnús Reynir Jónsson, Emanuele Pasquet, Sarah Robine, Laurine Mottet
The European Film Promotion (EFP) has revealed the ten young actors selected as the 2016 European Shooting Stars, who will be presented to the film world during February's Berlin International Film Festival.

This year's stars are: Martha Canga Antonio (Belgium), Tihana Lazović (Croatia), Lou de Laâge (France), Jella Haase (Germany), Daphné Patakia (Greece), Atli Óskar Fjalarsson (Iceland), Sara Serraiocco (Italy), Reinout Scholten van Aschat (The Netherlands), María Valverde (Spain), Kacey Mottet Klein (Switzerland).

Jury member Anamaria Marinca - herself a Shooting Star in 2008 - said: “Being a Shooting Star was exhilarating. Little did I know how problematic it would be as a jury member to try to select just ten participants from the 24 nominees put forward by the EFP member organisations this year. We watched films from all over Europe, brimming with fresh young voices. Our final selection of ten actors reflects the diversity and vitality of European Cinema. We are proud to present these emerging artists on a world stage at the Berlinale.”

Details on each of the stars is below, along with the jury's assessment:

Martha Canga Antonio (Belgium)

Selected film:
Black (2015) by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah

Jury’s comment: “In Black, a story about gang violence in Brussels' notorious Molenbeek neighbourhood, Martha gives an extraordinary debut as a modern Juliet. In her very first role, she already shows great timing, courage and determination, and a natural acting ability.”

Tihana Lazović (Croatia)

Selected films:
On The Other Side (2016) by Zrinko Ogresta
The High Sun (2015) by Dalibor Matanić
Hush... ( 2013) by Lukas Nola

Jury’s comment: “Playing three characters in three different stories of the Balkan conflict, Tihana carries all the emotions of love and hatred in her raw, forceful screen presence. We saw an instinctive, versatile actress who embodied the film’s life-affirming humanity.”

Lou de Laâge (France)

Selected film:
The Wait (2015) by Piero Messina

Jury’s comment: “In l’Attesa (The Wait), Lou plays a young woman who is unaware of her ability of bringing solace to a family struck by tragedy. She is graceful, luminous, subtle and very affecting in telling this story of quiet self-affirmation.”

Jella Haase (Germany)

Selected films:
Suck Me Shakespeer 2 (2015) by Bora Dagtekin
Four Kings (2015) by Theresa von Eltz
Combat Girls (2012) by David Wnendt

Jury’s comment: “When it comes to playing outspoken, rebellious and and slightly trashy characters with a heart of gold, Jella has German audiences at her feet – as witnessed again in 4 Könige (Four Kings). Now we can’t wait to see her apply that joyful energy in new, challenging and unexpected ways.”

Daphné Patakia (Greece)

Selected films:
Spring Awakening (2016) by Constantine Giannaris
Interruption (2015) by Yorgos Zois

Jury’s comment: “A charismatic presence on the screen, Daphné convinced the jury with her extraordinary focus, her air of mystery and her willingness to express extreme emotions in astonishing ways.”

Atli Óskar Fjalarsson (Iceland)

Selected films:
Sparrows (2015) by Rúnar Rúnarsson
The Press III (2012) by Óskar Jónasson
Jitters (2010) by Baldvin Z

Jury’s comment: “Atli convinced us with his generous, poetic yet contained performance in Þrestir (Sparrows). Playing a sensitive boy caught in a cold and harsh environment, he showed us a new and refreshing take on the role of the quiet dreamer.”

Sara Serraiocco (Italy)

Selected films:

L’Accabadora (2015) by Enrico Pau
Chlorine (2015) by Lamberto Sanfelice
Salvo (2013) by Antonio Piazza, Fabio Grassadonia

Jury’s comment: “As a girl who has to fight for her dreams, Sara shines brightly in the coming-of-age story Cloro (Chlorine). We were impressed by her strong screen appearance and effortless physicality, and we admire the integrity that grounds all her performances.”

Reinout Schouten van Aschat (The Netherlands)

Selected films:

Beyond Sleep (2016) by Boudewijn Koole
Johan, Soccer Messiah (2014) by Pim van Hoeve (TV)
The Heineken Kidnapping (2011) by Maarten Treurniet

Jury’s comment: “Often filmed all alone in Norway’s Finnmark wilderness, Reinout affirms himself as the magnetic centre of the philosophical adventure story Nooit meer slapen (Beyond Sleep). In a riveting performance, he walks the delicate line between lucidity and madness.”

María Valverde (Spain)

Selected films: Now Or Never (2015) by Maria Ripoll
Exodus: Gods And Kings (2014) by Ridley Scott
Madrid. 1987 (2012) by David Trueba

Jury’s comment: “The camera just loves her extraordinary, unconventional face, and Maria has the talent for a great career. She is able to capture emotion effortlessly. International audiences received an exciting glimpse of this in Ridley Scott's Exodus and now we look forward to her new endeavours."

Kacey Mottet Klein (Switzerland)

Selected films:
Keeper (2015) by Guillaume Senez
Sister (2012) by Ursula Meier
Gainsbourg ( 2010) by Joann Sfar

Jury’s comment: “Although the youngest of this year’s Shooting Stars, Kacey is already an experienced actor, having made his screen debut at the age of ten. In ‘Keeper’, he crosses into adulthood, not only portraying a troubled yet tender adolescent, but also showing a firm and very mature command of his craft.”

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