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European Shooting Stars of 2014
by Shelly Schoeneshoefer

This year's talent was chosen based on their personal talent as well as how they would fit into a universal market. 

Danica Curcic
Spotlight film: On the Edge directed by Lev Stoetkt
Languages: Danish, Serbian, English with knowledge of French, Spanish and Russian


Danica Curcic comes from a Serbian background where storytelling played an important role. Everyone in her family is very expressive. She has a background in classical piano and accordion and had participated in theater productions. She started to study documentary film making which actually helped her decide to take the path as an actress. Films: Silent Heart, The Absent one, Malta all Inclusive.

Maria Dragus
Spotlight film:Summer Outside directed by Friederike Jehn
Languages: Romanian, German, English with some knowledge of French and Spanish

Maria Dragus comes from a very artistic family where her father plays the cello and her mother is a dancer.  She grew up singing in operas and participating in theater. She went to ballet school and has acted in a T.V. Film. She won best supporting actress in the film The White Ribbon which is an excellent film. Films: Sweet 16, Couch Movie, Broken Glass Park and Kill Me.

Mariam Karlkvist
Spotlight film: South is Nothing directed by Fabio Mollo
languages: Italian and English

This film changed the course of her life. Everything is new and a challenge for her.  She has now moved to Rome and is going to film school and hopes more opportunities will come her way.

Marwan Kenzari
Spotlight film: Wolf directed by Jim Taihuttu,  languages: Dutch, English, French and Arabic

Marwan Kenzari’s career really took of this year since he is now working between L.A. and the Netherlands. A friend of his signed him up for his first audition and fate has now steered him into this life as an actor. This director has been very influential in helping him develop himself and pursue his career as an actor. Films: Reckless,Streets of Hearts, Lucia De B, Rabat and Loft.


Jakob Oftebro
Spotlight film: In Order of Disappearance (Kraftidioten)
Languages: Norwegian, Swedish, English and knowledge of German and Spanish

Jakob Oftebro was very shy and decided to overcome his fear and sign up for a school play. This act changed the course of his life. He went to the National Theater school in Oslo but wanted to live in another country so he moved to Denmark. he got small parts for T.V. and movies but his career took off in the film Max Manus directed by Joachim Ronning who also was the director for Kon-Tiki. Films:Kon-Tiki, Victoria,The Hidden Child,On the Edge, and 1864.  (I have seen several of his films and I think we will see much more of him in the future.)

Mateusz Kosciukiewicz
Spotlight film: In the Name of...
Languages: Polish and English

Mateusz Kosciukiewicz comes from a rebellious background and was driven to find himself. He has flunked out of three schools and acting became more of a reflection of who he really is. He is inspired by books and life but not really from other actors. The Polish Film Institute is the institution that has helped him the most in developing his career and has given him the support he needs. Films: All that I love, Mother Teresa of Cats, Baby Blues, Baczynski, and Walesa, Man of hope.

Cosmina Stratan
Spotlight film: Beyond the Hills
Languages:Romanian, English and German

Cosmina Stratan was told by her boss where she was producing for the television, “This is the best job you could ever have.” It took her only a moment to realize that actually that was not true. So she took a chance and had an audition with the director Cristian Mungiu and that set everything into motion. Since she had worked as a journalist, she was driven to find out what motivated the characters and put herself into their place. Films: Shall we Kiss and Beyond the Hills.

Nikola Rakocevic
Spotlight film: Circles
Languages: Serbian and English

Growing up during the Bosnian war, Nikola Rakocevic brought his personal experience to the screen. He said that he remembers being involved in the war but of course he wasn\'t since he was a child. His and others coming from this experience made the international critics take it seriously. It was Serbian\'s entry for Best Foreign Film for the Academy Awards.  His beginning was with amateur theater and then moved forward to short films. he has been lucky to work with excellent directors. Films: Skinning, The Woman with the Broken Nose, October, Trolling, Travelator.

Edda Magnason
Spotlight Film: Waltz for Monica
Languages: Swedish and English

Edda Magnason\'s background as a musician and a singer gave her the basics she needed to play the role in Waltz for Monica.  She has always had an interest in jazz and was well acquainted with the two albums that the legendary Swedish jazz singer produced. She said that acting was almost like falling in love.

George Mackay
United Kingdom
Spotlight Film: For those in Peril
Languages: English

George Mackay was lucky since his first role was in an adaption of Peter Pan. He then tried to get into acting school which didn\'t accept him. Three years is a long time not to be working,but in Private Peaceful he was the lead and made the decision that he had a passion for acting and has been working diligently ever since. He not only has been making films but also made his was into the theater production of The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan. Films: Breakfast with Johnny Wilkinson, How I Live Now, Sunshine on Leith, Bypass, and Pride.