European Shooting Stars 2018 Unveiled

Courtesy of Schramm Films; Jonathan Keenan; Robert Hegedus
from left: Franz Rogowski, Michaela Coel, Reka Tenki

British actress Michaela Coel, Germany's Franz Rogowski and Reka Tenki from Hungary are among the new batch of up-and-coming talents picked by European Film Promotion as the next big thing.

European Shooting Stars, the annual selection of 10 young talents to watch, has announced its fresh faces for 2018.

Organizers European Film Promotion unveiled the 21st Shooting Stars list Thursday. The group, selected by a jury of film professionals, will take part in the four-day Shooting Star event, running Feb. 16-19 during the Berlin Film Festival, in which they will be introduced to the international press and meet with directors, agents and producers.

The 2018 group looks like a promising crop, including talents already recognized in their home territories, as well as stand-ups from this year's festival season.

British actors have been missing from the Shooting Stars list the past couple of years, but U.K. talent returns in 2018 with Michaela Coel, the actress, playwright, screenwriter and poet, best known for her Bafta-winning TV series Chewing Gum, which she wrote (based on her own play) and stars in. After two hit seasons with Channel 4 (the show airs on Netflix worldwide), Coel has passed on a third season, preferring to focus on other projects. Translation: she's primed for her big break.

Similarly, German Shooting Star Franz Rogowski — whose credits include Sebastian Schipper's award-winning one-take thriller Victoria and Happy End from Michael Haneke — looks ready to break his national confines. After a wildly successful 2017, in which he appeared in four features — along with Happy End, Rogowski had starring roles in German comedy Fikkefuchs, actioner Tiger Girl and romantic drama Figeros Wolke — the 31-year-old will make his U.S. debut in Terrence Malick's Radegund next year. He'll next get a chance to impress critics with his performance alongside Toni Erdmann's Sandra Huller in In the Aisles from German director Thomas Stuber, which will premiere in competition in Berlin in February.

Reka Tenki from Hungary is an established theater and film actress, most recently in lldiko Enyedi's Berlin Golden Bear winner On Body and Soul, where she stole the show in a cameo role as a disheveled company psychiatrist. Her other credits include roles in Istvan Szabo’s The Door and Eva Gardos' Budapest Noir.

Belgian Matteo Simoni is best known for his role in Callboys, a cult comedy series about a group of hapless gigolos. But he has shown his range with feature performances in 2013's Marina, where he plays a coal miner's son who defies his father's wishes to follow a life in music, and in the upcoming crime thriller Gangsta from directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, in which he plays a drug dealer.

The lineup for the 2018 Shooting Stars is one of the youngest yet, with several 20-something talents making the cut. Including 23-year-old Norwegian actress Eili Harboe, who had a supporting role in Roar Uthaug's crossover disaster drama The Wave and plays the title role in Joachim Trier's Thelma, as a college student who realizes the violent seizures she is experiencing are symptoms of supernatural powers.

Also from Scandinavia is the 24-year-old Swedish actress Alba August, daughter of film legends Bille and Pernilla August. The younger August has paid her dues as a working actress in several productions, including supporting roles in TV series Jordskott and Countdown Copenhagen. She next stars as the iconic Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking) from director Pernille Fischer Christensen (A Soap) and will appear in The Rain, Netflix's first Danish-language series.

Also in the 20-something club is Italy's Matilda De Angelis: The 22-year-old talent was discovered by director Matteo Rovere, who cast her as a talented young rally driver whose life falls apart in 2015's Italian Race. The role earned her two nominations for the David di Donatello awards, Italy's local equivalent of the Oscars: one for best actress and a second for best original song for her performance of the film's title song, "Seventeen." More recently, she has appeared in Sebastiano Riso's Una Famiglia and Alessandro Gassman's Il Premio. She next stars in Berardo Carboni's Youtopia as a women who decides to sell her virginity to pay off her mother's debts.

Dutch Shooting Star Jonas Smulders has made his name playing a teen who murders a homeless man in Menno Meyjes' The Dinner and, in Bram Schouw's Brothers, as an idealist young man who follows his charismatic older brother on an impromptu road trip across Europe. He's also garnered attention for his TV roles, in particular for Mees Peijnenburg's We Will Never Be Royals, which won him the Netherlands' Golden Calf award for best actor.

At 18, Luna Wedler from Switzerland is the youngest of the 2018 Shooting Stars, but her role in Blue My Mind from director Lisa Bruhlmann was enough to convince the jury, who called her performance "fearless." Wedler plays a 15-year-old girl who undergoes a transformation that reaches far beyond the normal changes of puberty.

Another first-timer, in more ways than one, is Irakli Kvirikadze. The first Georgian actor picked for the Shooting Stars, Kvirikadze made his acting debut in true-life tale Hostages from director Rezo Gigineishvili, playing one of seven young Georgians who tried to flee the Soviet Union in 1983 by hijacking an airline.

The 2018 Shooting Stars were selected by a jury made up of Dutch director Mijke de Jong, Austrian casting director Nicole Schmied, Croatian producer Ankica Juric Tilic, Norwegian film critic Mode Steinkjer and Spain's Eduardo Noriega, an actor, and former Shooting Star, from 1999.

Over more than two decades, Shooting Stars has proved itself as a launchpad for international talent: former Shooting Stars include Daniel Craig and Alicia Vikander, Matthias Schoenaerts and Carey Mulligan, Domhnall Gleeson and Daniel Bruhl.