EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS shining brightly for the 65th Berlinale

Domhall Gleeson (Shooting Star 2011) © Markus Nass
Domhall Gleeson (Shooting Star 2011) © Markus Nass

EFP’s annual showcase unveils its ten young European actors of 2015

EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS returns in 2015 to showcase Europe's best and brightest young acting talent during the opening weekend of the Berlin International Film Festival. European Film Promotion (EFP) has today announced the talented ten actors that will be heading to Berlin on 7th February. Now in its 18th year the annual talent platform has received financial support from the Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the European Union and participating EFP member organisations.

Joachim Fjelstrup
(Itsi Bitsi)
Jannis Niewöhner
(Sapphire Blue)
Emmi Parviainen
(The Princess of Eqypt)
Hera Hilmar
(Life In A Fishbowl)
Moe Dunford (Patrick's Day)
Maisie Williams (UK) © Neil Meneer  	    Natalia de Molina (Spain) © Abbey Hoes (The Netherlands) © Jenny Boot
Aistė Diržiūtė
(The Summer of Sangaile)
Maisie Williams
(The Falling)
Natalia de Molina
(Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed)
Sven Schelker
(The Circle)
Abbey Hoes

The 2015 SHOOTING STARS have been revealed as follows: Joachim Fjelstrup (Denmark), Jannis Niewöhner (Germany), Emmi Parviainen (Finland), Hera Hilmar (Iceland), Moe Dunford (Ireland), Aistė Diržiūtė (Lithuania), Abbey Hoes (The Netherlands), Natalia de Molina (Spain), Sven Schelker (Switzerland) and Maisie Williams (UK).

The ten gifted young actors and actresses will follow in the footsteps of previous winners, many of whom are now internationally acclaimed in their field. Alumni include Daniel Craig (UK - 2000), Daniel Brühl (Germany - 2003), Elio Germano (Italy - 2008), David Dencik (Denmark - 2007), Carey Mulligan (UK - 2009) and Alicia Vikander (Sweden - 2011).

An international jury of film industry specialists have applied their knowledge and experience to identify the most exciting talent working across Europe today, from a list of 23 nominating EFP member countries. The 2015 Jury includes actress Eva Röse (Maria Wern), UK film magazine editor Damon Wise (Empire magazine), Polish film director Malgorzata Szumowska (Elles), Slovenian film producer Danijel Hočevar (Circles) and French casting director Nathalie Cheron (Lucy).

Jury member Malgorzata Szumowska said of the announcement, “The SHOOTING STARS jury deliberated at length over what constitutes 'star quality' - that rare and special something that allows these actors to rise above their peers and to display not only impressive technical skill in their performances - but also something more. We pored over showreels and past performances of young actors from all over Europe and our discussions in Hamburg this month have resulted in what we think is a particularly strong year. “

Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Danish SHOOTING STAR in 2003 and now internationally acclaimed for such films as The Whistleblower and the Jussi Adler-Olsen novel adaption The Absent One was keen to add his best wishes to the 2015 selection: “As a recipient of this accolade, I look back very fondly on my time as a SHOOTING STAR and travelling to the Berlin International Film Festival with a group of incredibly diverse and hugely talented fellow actors, all just starting out in the industry. It was an exciting time for us all and I'm grateful to EFP for the opportunity SHOOTING STARS gave me at such a pivotal point in my career. I wish this year's SHOOTING STARS the very best of luck as they embark on their journeys”.

The SHOOTING STARS' debut at the Berlinale next February will include several industry meet and greet sessions with agents, casting directors and filmmakers - as well as interviews with international media and evening receptions across three eventful days of networking at one of the most significant film festivals of the year. On February 9th, all EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS will be presented with an individual award celebrating their achievements, as part of a red carpet ceremony at the Berlinale Palast.

Each year the project is supported by generous promotional partners and this year, these will include luxury jewellery brand Tesiro, who are supporting the initiative for the seventh year.

DENMARK: Joachim Fjelstrup
Nominated by Danish Film Institute

© Anders Clausen


Selected films:
Itsi Bitsi (2015) by Ole Christian Madsen
April 9th (2015) by Roni Ezra

Jury's comment: 
“Joachim couldn't have made a better feature film debut than Itsi Bitsi – as real-life beatnik rocker Eik Skaløe he is simply captivating, bringing out all the elements of a man whose tragically short, tormented life was nevertheless brightened by love, laughter and head-on rock'n'roll excitement..”

GERMANY: Jannis Niewöhner
Nominated by German Films

© Jens Koch


Selected films:

The Girl King
(2015) by Mika Kaurismäki
4 Kings
(2014) by Theresa von Eltz
Sapphire Blue
(2013) by Felix Fuchssteiner & Katharina Schöde

Jury's comment:
It's rare that an actor can move seamlessly from the real to the fantastical, but Jannis showed considerable range with his showreel, being both the charismatic lead of glossy time-travel adventure Sapphire Blue as well as the intense young man looking for the secrets of life in the powerful short Zehn Sekunden Himmel.

Finland: Emmi Parviainen
Nominated by Finnish Film Foundation

© Saara Salama 


Selected film:
Eila, Rampe And The Baby Girl (2015) by Taru Mäkelä
The Princess Of Egypt (2013) by Jan Forsström

Jury's comment:
“Emmi impressed us all with her performance in The Princess Of Egypt, playing young mother Marja with great tenderness and doing so with all the toughness and determination of a single parent who's just trying to get by. She's not afraid of Marja's flaws either, which adds an extra, raw layer of truth.”

ICELAND: Hera Hilmar
Nominated by Icelandic Film Centre

© Charlie Carter


Selected films:
Life In A Fishbowl (2014) by Baldvin Z
Anna Karenina (2012) by Joe Wright
The Quiet Storm (2007) by Gudny Halldorsdottir

Jury's comment:
“Hera was an easy choice to make, showing herself as adept and expressive when performing in English as her native Icelandic and playing historical characters just as effortlessly as their modern-day counterparts. Despite those timeless, angelic looks, however, Hera's range is deceptive – there's definitely a fire there.”

IRELAND: Moe Dunford
Nominated by Irish Film Board

© The Lisa Richards Agency 



Selected films:
Patrick's Day (2015) by Terry McMahon
Traders (2015) by Peter Murphy

Jury's comment:
“Moe's physicality and sly charm first drew us to him – the ingredients of a modern-day Hollywood hero – but his work in Patrick's Day sealed the deal. As schizophrenic Patrick, he shows compassion and subtlety always putting the character first, never letting Patrick's issues overwhelm the performance.”

LITHUANIA: Aistė Diržiūtė
Nominated by Lithuanian Film Centre

Aisté Diržiūté (Lithuania) © Vytenis Kriščiūnas

© Vytenis Kriščiūnas



Selected films:
The Summer Of Sangaile
(2014) by Alanté Kavaïté
We Will Sing
(2014) by Robert Mullan

Jury's comment:
“Aisté makes her feature debut in The Summer Of Sangaile with such confidence it's hard to believe this is her first major role. As Austé, the free-spirited muse who brings the introverted title character out of her shell, Aisté enchanted us all, playing a girl who feels fresh, fun, alive – and always real.”

Nominated by Eye International

Abbey Hoes (The Netherlands) © Jenny Boot

© Jenny Boot



Selected film:
Nena (2014) by Saskia Diesing
To Be King (2012) by Ben Sombogaard
Furious (2011) by Dave Schram

Jury's comment:
“Although she's only 20, Abbey surprised us with the sheer breadth of her experience and the diverse shades of light and dark she has already mastered. Her film Nena, in which she plays the teenage daughter of a suicidal paraplegic, is the perfect showcase for those deep wells of assurance and maturity.”

SPAIN: Natalia de Molina
Nominated by ICAA (Spain)

Natalia de Molina (Spain) ©

© Bernardo Doral 



Selected films:
Roof And Food
(2015) by Juan Miguel del Castillo
Girls Night Out (2014) by Manuela Moreno
Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed
(2013) by David Trueba

Jury's comment:
“After we'd seen so many dark and serious subjects being explored in European film, the versatile Natalia brought a welcome burst of sunshine. Whether playing the vamp or the girl next door, as she does so touchingly in the bittersweet Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed, Natalia lights up the screen.”

Switzerland: Sven Schelker
Nominated by Swiss Films

© Hannes Caspar 


Selected film:
The Circle (2014) by Stefan Haupt

Jury's comment:
“Another actor who makes his feature film debut with a pitch-perfect, fully formed performance, Sven bowled us over with his personality and smarts. A passionate and accessible stage actor, Sven's poignant and intimate work in Swiss Oscar entry The Circle tells he is amply equipped for big-screen success.”

UNITED KINGDOM: Maisie Williams
Nominated by British Council

© Neil Meneer



Selected films:
The Falling (2015) by Carol Morley
Gold (2014) by Niall Heery
Heatstroke (2013) by Evelyn Purcell

Jury's comment:
“The Game of Thrones fans among us needed no introduction to Maisie, but her excellent work as tomboy Arya Stark couldn't be further from her character in schoolgirl drama The Falling: at just 17, Maisie already shows great wisdom and intuition, giving a human anchor to a story that's full of mystery and intrigue.”

The UK film journalists and jury members Charles Gant (2014) and Damon Wise (2015) will be following the SHOOTING STARS activity before and at the 2015 Berlinale:

EFP will once again be supported in their international press campaign for the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2015 by the London-based PR agency Organic.

Organic (International press enquiries):

Becky Palmer, Tel: +44 203 372 0973
Kirsty Langsdale,  Tel: + 44 203 435 9628
Jill Rosen,  Tel: +44 203 372 0975


EFP is financially supported by the Creative Europe-MEDIA Programme of the European Union and by its member organisations. The Hamburg-based office is backed by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Ministry of Culture of the City of Hamburg and the Film Fund Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein. EFP´s programme SHOOTING STARS moreover is backed by various partners such as TESIRO, the main partner of EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2015.

With the support of the Creative Europe-MEDIA Programme of the European Union

Main partner SHOOTING STARS                  co-partner SHOOTING STARS


third partner


event partner

EFP is supported by


the jury



Karin Dix (Project Director)
Tel: +49 40 390 6252

Mareen Gerisch (Head of Press)
Tel: +49 40 390 6252

Organic Publicity

Becky Palmer
Tel: +44 203 372 0970

Kirsty Langsdale
Tel: +44 203 372 0970

Jill Rosen 
Tel: +44 203 372 0975

European Film Promotion
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