Every year the EFP (European FIlm Promotion) puts together a jury who pick 10 top acting talents they think are Europe’s best young actors. The 2012 list has now been released and it includes Adèle Haenel (France), Anna Maria Mühe (Germany), Hilmar Gudjónsson (Iceland), Antonia Campbell-Hughes (Ireland), Isabella Ragonese (Italy), Jakub Gierszał (Poland), Ana Ularu (Poland), Bill Skarsgård (Sweden), Max Hubacher (Switzerland) and Riz Ahmed (UK).
The 10 actors will be showcased at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival, which should be a boost to their career and also demonstrate the superb talent coming out of all parts of Europe (it doesn’t hurt either that they’re not bad to look at).They follow in the footsteps of former Shooting Stars such as Carey Mulligan, Moritz Bleibtreu, Mélanie Laurent, Alba Rohrwacher, Domhnall Gleeson and Elena Anaya. And it’s certainly good to see Four Lions stars Riz Ahmed representing the UK on the new list
Take a look at our gallery of all 10 actors below and underneath that find out a little more about each of this year’s Shooting Stars.
France: Adèle Haenel
Water Lilies (Naissance des pieuvres) by Céline Sciamma (France 2006)
House of Tolerance (L’Apollonide) by Bertrand Bonello (France 2011)
Heat Wave (Après le Sud) by Jean-Jacques Jauffret (France 2011)
Jury’s comment: Coming from a country renowned for producing great screen actresses, Haenel still stands out as a true original. Whether playing tomboyish, spiky, fragile or misunderstood, she is always daring and hypnotic, vanishing into her characters with unabashed fearlessness.
Germany: Anna Maria Mühe
Cracks In The Shell (Die Unsichtbare) by Christian Schwochow (Germany 2010)
November Child (Novemberkind) by Christian Schwochow (Germany 2007)
Big Girls Don’t Cry (Große Mädchen weinen nicht) by Maria von Heland (Germany, 2002)
Jury’s comment: Never predictable despite her already impressive body of work, Mühe is an actress of consummate skill whose ability to bring such a great variety of characters to vivid life is both rare and breath-taking. Vibrant, complex and technically commanding.
Iceland: Hilmar Gudjónsson
Either Way (Á annan veg) by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (Iceland 2011)
Mr. Bjarnfreðarson (Bjarnfreðarson) by Ragnar Bragason (Iceland 2009)
Black’s Game (Svartur á leik) by Óskar Thór Axelsson (Iceland 2012)
Jury’s comment: A compelling and wonderful actor with a strong, tangible style even playing the seemingly weak, foolish boy at the heart of Either Way. With his versatility and ability to stand out, Gudjónsson has a promising career ahead.
Ireland: Antonia Campbell-Hughes
The Other Side Of Sleep by Rebecca Daly (Ireland, The Netherlands, Hungary 2011)
Kelly and Victor by Kieran Evans (UK, Ireland 2011)
Albert Nobbs by Rodrigo Garcia (Ireland, UK 2011)
Jury’s comment: Antonia’s acting is seductively minimalistic but demonstrates magnificent charisma at the same time. In The Other Side Of Sleep, her character’s inner solitude and sadness are conveyed with haunting, empathetic power. She is a performer of wonderful soul and depth.
Italy: Isabella Ragonese
The First Assignment (Il primo incarico) by Giorgia Cecere(Italy 2010)
Our Life (La nostra vita) by Daniele Luchetti (Italy, France 2010)
Her Whole Life Ahead (Tutta la vita davanti) by Paolo Virzì (Italy 2008)
Jury’s comment: Ragonese is an actress of great versatility and deep intelligence, with a commanding ability to present a clear emotional journey on screen. This makes her an extremely accessible screen presence, capable of fragility, intensity, sophistication and edginess.
Poland: Jakub Gierszał
Suicide Room (Sala Samobójców) by Jan Komasa (Poland 2011)
All That I Love (Wszystko co Kocham) by Jacek Borcuch (Poland 2009)
Lasting Moments (WT) (Chwile Nieulotne) by Jacek Borcuch (Poland 2011/12)
Jury’s comment: From the moment you see him, it is clear that Gierszał was born to be on the big screen. Revealing a kaleidoscope of emotions, his ability to draw you into a story is unparalleled. He is touching, believable, sensitive – a pure and unique talent.
Romania: Ana Ularu
Outbound (Periferic) by Bogdan George Apetri (Romania, Austria 2011)
Turkey Girl (Legenda Curcanului Zburator) by Cristian Mungiu (Romania, Germany 2005), short film
The Italian Girls (Italiencele) by Nap Toader (Romania 2004)
Jury’s comment: With Outbound, Ularu not only carries an entire film on her shoulders but does so with a complex, difficult character in convincing, magnetic fashion. Steely yet vulnerable, she possesses an amazing and adaptable physical presence, and eyes that really do serve as windows to her soul.
Sweden: Bill Skarsgård
Simple Simon (I rymden finns inga känslor) by Andreas Öhman (Sweden 2010)
Simon and the Oaks (Simon och ekarna) by Lisa Ohlin (Sweden, Germany 2011)
The Crown Jewels (Kronjuvelerna) by Ella Lemhagen (Sweden 2011)
Jury’s comment: In Simon and the Oaks, Skarsgård conveys depth, emotion and deep longing as a young man plunged into an identity crisis and desperate to know more about his family background. His acting feels like an exploration that we are lucky enough to witness.
Switzerland: Max Hubacher
The Foster Boy (Der Verdingbub) by Markus Imboden (Switzerland, Germany 2011)
Stationspiraten by Michael Schaerer (Switzerland 2010)
Jury’s comment: In a performance of beautiful clarity, Hubacher conveys the struggle, suffering and will to survive of his Foster Boy with enlightening authenticity. Given his young age, it is impressive how he is able to make such a strong and moving connection with the audience.
United Kingdom: Riz Ahmed
Shifty by Eran Creevy (UK 2009)
Four Lions by Christopher Morris (UK 2010)
The Road to Guantanamo by Michael Winterbottom (UK 2006)
Jury’s comment: Watching Ahmed on screen is to be treated to an actor of extraordinary presence and talent. In Trishna, he bridges love and rage, fragility and power, tenderness and brutality. A versatile, elegant, dignified actor with outstanding potential.