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Awards for European Shooting Stars 2020
by Birgit Schrumpf

During the 70th Berlin International Film Festival – ten young talented actresses and actors were introduced to the film industry and international press by the EFP (European Film Promotion).

The EFP's talent promotion program is now in its 23rd year. Each year this unique network of 38 European agencies provides a platform for ten outstanding young talents to meet with internationally operating casting directors, producers and filmmakers. This opportunity is a good chance of laying the foundation for an international career. On February 24th they were honored with the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STAR Award at the Berlinale Palast.

The promising acting talents of 2020 are:

From Bulgaria – Martina Apostolova

For her performance in IRINA (2018) she won numerous Best Actress awards from Hong Kong to Tbilisi. Jury's comment: “With her wisdom and maturity she injects an authenticity into her characters that makes them universally relatable.”

From Denmark – Victoria Carmen Sonne

As seen in HOLIDAY (2018) she received the Danish Bodil Award and a nomination for the Danish Film Award among others. Jury's comment: “She counters and transforms … challenges with grace, innocence and undaunted levity.”

From France – Zita Hanrot

She convinced the jury because she “embodies and radiates a pure and primal force” as seen in the social drama SCHOOL LIFE (2019).

From Estonia – Pääru Oja

For his performance of MIKHEL(2018) the jury comments, “… the soul of a boy that shines in Pääru Oja … you always can find this infectious vitality with him.”

From Georgia – Levan Gelbakhiani

He played the leading role in AND THEN WE DANCED. Jury's comment: “At only 21-years-old, he is already a master of physical elegance and psychological sensitivity. He is able to channel it into performances of touching nuance and subtlety, which makes him a true shooting star; One that will not burn out.” 

From Germany – Jonas Dassler

He has played a serial killer in THE GOLDEN GLOVE (2019), nominated for the German Film Awards, and was selected for his “commanding physical presence, bravery and sophistication. He has shown the human side of monsters and revealed the monstrosities of humans. In this he also exposed the dark humor of the absurd, which proves his astounding maturity.”

From Poland – Bartosz Bielenia

He played the multi-award-winning lead in this year's shortlisted Polish Oscar nomination CORPUS CHRISTI (2019) in which he succeeds in “walking the maddening paths of despair and redemption.”

From Switzerland – Ella Rumpf

She’s proven her diversity in the film she was nominated for, SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL (2018). Jury's comment: “She is the heroine of 1,000 faces that speaks 1,000 tongues - almost. Whether in war-torn Bosnia or Freudian Vienna, among cannibals of France or the outcasts of Berlin, Ella Rumpf always stands the test.”

From The Netherlands – Bilal Wahib

He is this year's youngest Shooting Star but already an old hand at acting. He started at 13. This year he can be seen in a leading role in the Dutch productions PARADISE DRIFTERS (2019) which premiered in the Berlinale Generation section. The jury was “touched by his childlike gentleness, riveted by his raw ferocity, shaken up by his genuine fears.”

From Portugal – Joana Ribeiro

Seen in CROOKED LINES (2019), showing a “spellbinding universe of enchantment and passion, anger and affection.”

The members of this year's jury were:

British casting director Lucy Bevan, producer Katarina Krnácŏvá from Slovakia, Finnish director Dome Karukoski, and former Bulgarian Shooting Star turned director Vesela Kazakova and film journalist Rüdiger Sturm from Germany.

Since its first showcase in 1998, a total of 312 European Shooting Stars have been presented at the Berlinale. Some of the recent Award winners include Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (TOMB RAIDER), Pilou Asbaek (GAME OF THRONES), Carey Mulligan (MUDBOUND), Alba Rohrwacher (HAPPY AS LAZZARO) and George MacKey (CAPITAIN FANTASTIC).