Berlin: 'A Fantastic Woman's' Daniela Vega and 5 Other Breakout Talents

9:29 AM 2/13/2017

by Scott Roxborough and Patrick Brzeski

Who will follow the likes of Berlinale discoveries like Alicia Vikander, Daniel Craig and Carey Mulligan?

Daniela Vega of 'A Fantastic Woman'
Daniela Vega of 'A Fantastic Woman'
Fabrizio Maltese

For a young international talent, the Berlin Film Festival has long been a springboard to global fame. Actors like Alicia Vikander and Daniel Bruhl, Carey Mulligan and Daniel Craig were either discovered in Berlin or used the fest to take their careers to the next level.

"Berlin and its Shooting Stars platform is a seal of quality for the U.S. agents, they all know that,” says Anne Lindberg of Danish agency Lindberg Management about the program, now in its 20th year, which introduces up-and-coming European talent to the industry. Asian filmmakers are also out in force this year, with the inaugural Asian Berlin Stars ceremony that took place Sunday.

Here are six names set to break big in Berlin this year:

  • Daniela Vega

    Chilean actress, 'A Fantastic Woman'

    Vega in 'A Fantastic Woman'
    Vega in 'A Fantastic Woman'
    Courtesy of Participant Media

    The newcomer is drawing raves for her role in Sebastian Lelio’s competition film A Fantastic Womanbought by Sony Pictures Classics for the U.S. — and is a front-runner for a Berlin award.

  • Liv Lisa Fries

    German actress, 'Babylon Berlin'

    Fries in 'Babylon Berlin'
    Fries in 'Babylon Berlin'
    Courtesy of X Filme

    Her work in German indie features Zurich and Heil have put Fries on the radar of local producers, but she could go global thanks to her starring role in upcoming TV drama series Babylon Berlin.

  • Esben Smed

    Danish actor, 'Shooting Star'

    Smed (left) in 'Follow the Money'
    Smed (left) in 'Follow the Money'
    Courtesy of Berlin International Film Festival

    The intense youngster turned a few heads with his performance in Danish TV drama Follow The Money and as one of the 2017 Shooting Stars is in the spotlight at this year’s Berlinale.

  • Xu Haofeng

    Chinese director

    Xu Haofeng
    Xu Haofeng
    Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

    The Wuxia maestro behind last year’s martial arts epic The Final Master got the inaugural Asian event’s best director honor. He is also known for scripting Wong Kar Wai’s The Grandmaster.

  • Liu Zhenyun

    Chinese screenwriter

    Liu Zhenyun
    Liu Zhenyun
    Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage

    The novelist-turned-screenwriter won one of China’s most prestigious literary awards in 2011 for his work One Sentence Worth Ten Thousand, which he adapted for the screen as Someone to Talk To.

  • Jerry Ye

    Chinese producer

    Courtesy of Huayi Brothers

    The veteran exec, formerly of Dalian Wanda Group, in 2015 became CEO of Beijing-based studio Huayi Brothers, which has an 18-film pact with STX and recently launched an animation division.