European Shooting Stars Unveils 2019 Crop of Young Acting Talent

Courtesy of Danilo Pavlovic; Barry Mccall; Robin Kater
From left: Milan Maric, Aisling Franciosi, Emma Drogunova

The stars of 'Dovlatov,' 'The Nightengale' and 'The Tobacconist' are among the up-and-coming European talent picked by European Film Promotion to be introduced to the international film industry at the Berlin Festival next year.

European Shooting Stars, the annual selection of 10 young acting talents to watch from Europe, has unveiled its 2019 crop.

Organizers European Film Promotion presented the list of new up-and-coming talents — five actors and five actresses from across the continent — that it will introduce to the international film industry in a series of meetings with agents and producers at next year's Berlin International Film Festival between Feb.8-11, 2019. 

The 22nd Shooting Stars, picked by a jury of film professionals, include just two talents from Europe's bigger nations — Polish actor Dawid Ogrodnik (Silent Night) and German actress Emma Drogunova (The Tobacconist). Instead, the bulk of the 2019 crop comes from Europe's smaller nations.

European Film Promotion has always been good at spotting Scandinavian talent — previous Shooting Stars have included Sweden's Alicia Vikander, Pilou Asbaek of Denmark and Iceland's Baltasar Korma╠ükur — and this year is no exception. Ine Marie Wilmann of Norway, already getting attention for her starring role in Anne Sewitsky's upcoming Sonja: The White Swan, in which she plays figure skater-turned-movie star Sonja Henie, takes pride of place alongside fellow Nordic talents Kristin Thora Haraldsdottir of Iceland, seen in Sundance title And Breathe Normally, Sweden's Ardalan Esmaili (The Charmer), and Elliott Crosset Hove of Denmark, who picked up the best actor prize in Locarno this year for his starring turn in Hlynur Palmason's Winter Brothers.

Among the most familiar of the 2019 Shooting Stars, at least to fans of international art house cinema, are Serbian actor Milan Maric, who wowed Berlin audiences this year with his star-making turn as in Aleksey German's competition title Dovlatov; and Italian-born, Irish actress Aisling Franciosi, a TV veteran (Game of Thrones, Legends) who played the lead in Jennifer Kent's harrowing Western revenge tale The Nightingale, which premiered in Venice this year.

Completing 2019's Shooting Star top 10 are Macedonian actor Blagoj Veselinov (Secret Ingredient) and Rea Lest-Liik of Estonia — seen in Tribeca entry November from director Rainer Sarnet.

The Shooting Stars has a proven reputation as a top talent scout. Previous years's picks that went on to have international careers include Irish talents Ruth Negga and Domhnall Gleeson, Belgian actor Matthias Schoenaerts and Germany's Daniel Bruhl.