Michaela Coel named as European Shooting Star

British actress and writer named as one to watch.

by Amber Wilkinson

Shooting Stars - 2018
Shooting Stars - 2018
British actress, playwright, screenwriter and poet Michaela Coel has been named as one of this year's European Shooting Stars. The award, now in its 21st edition aims to celebrate the ten most talented, up-and-coming stars from across Europe.

Commenting on Coel, the jury said: "The energetic and fascinating Michaela Coel blew the jury away in every one of her scenes in the musical comedy Been So Long. Bold and entirely genuine, she is wholly in control of her character and has a completely natural way of combining musicality and comedy with poetic tenderness, in an utterly explosive performance."

Coel has previously received accolades for her BAFTA-winning series Chewing Gum, based on her own play.

They will be presented to the film industry, public and international press during the 68th Berlin International Film Festival (February 15-25, 2018). The group will take part in a dedicated workshop programme, rounded off by an awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on Monday, February 19.

Previous UK and Irish recipients of the award include Carey Mulligan, Domhnall Gleeson, Kate Dickie and Daniel Craig, along with international stars including Alicia Vikander and Matthias Schoenaerts.

The members of the 2018 jury are: former Shooting Star Eduardo Noriega, from Spain, director Mijke de Jong, from The Netherlands, casting director and ICDN member Nicole Schmied, from Austria, Croatian producer Ankica Juric Tilic and Norwegian film critic and arts editor Mode Steinkjer.

The other shooting stars this year are below, along with the jury comment:

Matteo Simoni (Belgium)

Selected films:
Gangsta by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah
Marina by Stijn Coninx
Sum Of Histories by Lukas Bossuyt

Jury's comment: "Matteo is full of life, impressing us with his wide range of skills and convincing us that he is able to master the seemingly impossible. His nuanced range of expressions allows him to explore both the dark humor and the drama that is playfully on display in GANGSTA, revealing a courageous determination."

Irakli Kvirikadze (Georgia)

Selected films:
Hostages by Rezo Gigineishvili
Tbilisi I Love You by Tamar Shavgulidze

Jury's comment: "Irakli is a fresh talent, giving a truly impressive performance in HOSTAGES, an ensemble drama in which he shines, thanks to the emotional depth he displays. Still young, Irakli's admirable skills as a trained actor allow him to express passion, anger and sensibility. He has a natural presence and his overwhelming energy combined with humble eagerness, makes him an undisputed 'one to watch'."

Franz Rogowski (Germany)

Selected films:
Happy End by Michael Haneke
Fikkefuchs by Jan Henrik Stahlberg
Victoria by Sebastian Schipper

Jury's comment: "Conquering our hearts and minds with his recent roles in films by Terrence Malick and Michael Haneke, Franz continuously impresses with his individuality and creativity. In the dark comedy Fikkefuchs, about a young man dealing with his own disillusionment, he delivers a truly authentic performance, by conveying the character's complex and multilayered personality."

Réka Tenki (Hungary)

Selected films:
Budapest Noir by Éva Gárdos
On Body And Soul by Ildikó Enyedi
Diamond Club by Márton Vécsey

Jury's comment: "With originality and generosity, Réka balances her performance skills to breathe life into the mystery at the heart of Budapest Noir. Her passionate performance in front of the camera gives her a shimmering coolness that exudes confidence. Effortlessly capturing the moment, she impressed the jury with a subtle liveliness and a stand-out performance."

Matilda De Angelis (Italy)

Selected films:
Italian Race by Matteo Rovere
Reckless by Marco Ponti
A Family by Sebastiano Riso

Jury's comment: "Is there anything she can't do? Actor, singer and musician Matilda De Angelis left the jury stunned, playing the strong, young driver in Italian Race. Full of life, and with a beautiful voice, even when she is not singing, she embodies strength and a natural screen presence. The way the camera brings forth her captivating performance is fascinating to watch."

Jonas Smulders (The Netherlands)

Selected films:
Brothers by Bram Schouw
We Will Never Be Royals by Mees Peijnenburg
A Good Life by Aaron Rookus

Jury's comment: "In Brothers, a coming-of-age story, Jonas gives an extraordinarily subtle performance, portraying a young man emerging from the shadow of his older brother. With an impulsive personality and a bright openness, Jonas brings heart and warmth to his character. He is utterly impressive in the way he embraces the human tenderness of his character, with a clear sense of what it means to be 'in the moment.'"

Eili Harboe (Norway)

Selected films:
Thelma by Joachim Trier
The Ash Lad In The Hall Of The Mountain King by Mikkel Brænne Sandemose
Kiss Me You Fucking Moron by Stian Kristiansen

Jury's comment: "Embodying the fresh-faced, titular student in Joachim Trier's latest, critically-acclaimed outing Thelma, Eili shows a fascinating and impressive range as an actor, which really impressed the jurors. She bravely allows us insight into a character who seeks personal freedom, whilst attempting to escape from a strict upbringing. With skill far beyond her years, she combines a haunting vulnerability with a luminous and striking expression of mystery and inner strength."

Alba August (Sweden)

Selected films:
Becoming Astrid by Pernille Fischer Christensen
Reliance by William Olsson
Irl by Erik Leijonborg

Jury's comment: "With an abundance of intuition and curiosity, Alba won over the jury with her convincing portrayal of the real-life writer, Astrid Lindgren, in BECOMING ASTRID, ably depicting her from an early age. Alba's performance on screen is as sensible and deep as it is unpredictable, imbuing the character with an inner life that allows us to explore the woman behind the writer."

Luna Wedler (Switzerland)

Selected films:
Blue My Mind by Lisa Brühlmann
Amateur Teens by Niklaus Hilber
Midnight Runner by Hannes Baumgartner

Jury's comment: "Bursting onto the scene with a fearless performance in Blue My Mind, Luna Wedler stands tall as a spontaneous and bold actor. She embodies an on-screen presence that is breathtaking and intense, leaving us with the impression that she has a natural ability to express strong emotions, without the need for a safety net. Although the youngest of this year's European Shooting Stars, Luna has already proven herself to be a confident voice of the future."

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