Shooting Stars without French, German actors

10 young acting talents mostly from smaller European countries

COLOGNE, Germany -- For this first time since its launch in 1997, next year's Shooting Stars event will not include an actor from either Germany, France or Spain.

The Shooting Stars jury on Wednesday announced the 10 young acting talents that will take part in the event, which runs Feb. 13-15 during the Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 11-21, 2010).

And, with the exception of British actor Edward Hogg ("White Lightnin") and Italy's Michele Riondino ("The Past is a Foreign Land") all of the talents come from smaller European countries.

Central and Eastern Europe is well represented, with four Shooting Stars including Poland's Agata Buzek ("Within the Whirlwind"), Czech actor Krystof Hadadek ("Three Seasons in Hell"), Romanian actor Dragos Bucur ("The Way Back) and Croatia's Zrinka Cvitesic, who stars in "Nat putu" the new film from Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanic ("Esma's Secret -- Grbavica") which is widely expected to compete in Berlin next year.

The Nordic nations will send two young talents to Berlin's Shooting Stars event -- Pihla Viitala, the Finnish star of Aku Louhimies' "Tears of April" and Norwegian actor Anders Baasmo Christiansen, who featured in this year's Berlin audience favorite "North."

Irish actor Robert Sheehan, who will appear in Dominic Sena's upcoming fantasy thriller "Season of the Witch" and Dutch actress Lotte Verbeek, who won Locarno's best actress Silver Leopard for her starring role in Urszula Antoniak's "Nothing Personal," complete the 2010 Shooting Stars lineup.

The 10 talents will be wined and dined by agents, directors and producers attending the Berlin International Film Festival in a series of events set up by organizers European Film Promotion. The highlight is the Shooting Stars award ceremony on Feb.15, when Berlin festival director Dieter Kosslick introduces the young actors to the industry crowd.