One of our newest, but also one of most exciting industry programs is Kosovo Rising Stars. Since 2017, PriFest launched this program to promote young kosovan talents internationally.
This year we have two events with great panelists/experts curated by Karin Dix. The first one - Casting Directors meet La Vague de la Femme Kosovare:
Cassandra Han, Karen Cifarelli and Timka Grin will talk to Blerta Basholli, Kaltrina Krasniqi, Norika Sefa, Luana Bajrami and More Raça about their experience doing their movie without casting directors, prioritising female cast and other issues related to gender balance in film industry.
Director of the festival Vjosa Berisha will also join the panel to share her experience as a woman director of the biggest feature film and industry event in the country.
And the second panel:
Casting Directors meet Kosovan actors
An open panel discussion with casting directors, Cassandra Han, Karen Cifarelli and Timka Grin. They will share their experience with actors, talk about casting, and offer tips about how to prepare and shine for your next casting experience.
(This panel primarily dedicated to actors, but open to filmmakers and students, too.)
Cassandra Han is an American casting director. She has been based in Europe for 20 years, working out ofBerlin, Rome and the UK/US. Casting Italy credits include James Mangold’s multiple Oscar-nominated FORD VS FERRARI and A HIDDEN LIFE by Terrence Malick (2019 Cannes). She is currently casting Romans for Gaumont’s hit Netflix series BARBARIANS by Academy Award-winner Stefan Ruzowitzky. Other recent credits include RESILIENT for Roberto Faenzaand the series LITTLE AMERICA for Dror Zahavi. She street-cast the male lead for AMELIE RENNT (German Film Prize) and cast English-speaking roles for Pif’s IN GUERRA PER AMORE (David di Donatello win; Silver Ribbon nominations). Her Casting Germany credits include the upcoming Polish feature FILIP for AksonStudios and CURON for Netflix.
Cassandra holds an MFA in acting from Trinity Rep in Providence and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a founding member of Ethan Hawke’s New York theater company Malaparte and of Women in Film, Television & Media – Italy. In 2021, she was a European Shooting Stars Jury Member; she has also been a voter for the International Emmys as well asan expert panelist at the Berlinale and the MIA Market in Rome.
Timka Grin had an intense experience of working on more than 50 feature films and shorts, many of them awarded. Her most valuable lessons came through working with some great directors, just to men-on a few: brothers Dardenne, Jean-Luc Godard, Danis Tanovic, Aida Begic, Jasmila Zbanic, Ursula Meier, Andrea Štaka, Marco Bellocchio and many others. Timka is head of International Casting Directors Network (ICDN) and member of Casting Society of America (CSA), European Film Academy (EFA) and Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
Karen Cifarelli has a BS in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. During this time, she studied with renowned acting coach Eric Morris of the American New Theatre.
Karen gleaned her early training in production from working for companies like American Zoetrope as well as for the Jacobsen Company, at the Walt Disney Studios. She then moved to Berlin continuing to working in film production with Underdog Pictures GmbH and Bredok Film Production to name a few.
Since 2009, Ms Cifarelli is the owner of the Cifarelli Talent Consulting, where she manages international actors and directors for film, TV and theatre productions. She is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and has often been a juror of the International Emmy Awards as well as many other festivals around the world. Wanting to share her knowledge with up and coming talent, Karen is also a lecturer in the drama department of the Macromedia University's Cour Florent Drama department.