A new concept has been prepared to contribute to the objectives of Kosovo Rising Stars, one of the many programs of Prishtina International Film Festival (PriFest), which this year is supported by European Union funds through European Film Festivals, providing a unique opportunity to actors from Kosovo who will be able to benefit from meetings and workshops with international casting directors who will come to Kosovo from different European countries.

“We have fantastic news for our actors because this year we will host four casting directors, as well as the program director of Shooting Stars, a program of international organization European Film Promotion,” said PriFest Director Vjosa Berisha. “In our continuous efforts to provide more support for our filmmakers, we have extended this support to actors because our actors are very talented, but with few opportunities to make a name for themselves internationally,” she went on to say.

The invited experts will hold a series of open and closed sessions (speed-dating), as well as head-to-head individual meetings, providing our actors with more information about how they can access the international market. The activities will also serve as an opportunity for talent scouting among Kosovo’s acting community.

“This year we decided to go one step further, and with the financial support of the European Union through European Film Festivals, we invited influential personalities of the field of filmmaking, so that they can meet our talented actors, particularly because they have limited opportunities to travel abroad, be active in international auditions or simply explore more deeply the opportunity of engaging in films abroad,” said Berisha.

Actors who are interested to participate in closed sessions (speed-dating) must file their request by sending an e-mail to info@prifilmfest.org, including a short bio. Knowledge of the English language is a condition for taking part in the speed-dating sessions. The application is also open for acting students who are at the end of their studies. The number of participants is limited. Deadline for sending in bios is 25 June, 2019.

Who are the Casting Directors that you can meet at PriFest this year? 

 Jeremy Zimermann, Casting Director / England

Jeremy Zimmerman is one of the most renowned casting directors in the United Kingdom. He has worked with international production companies in the last 20 years with directors such as Peter Yates, Ron Howard, Guillermo del Toro and Richard Attenborough. He was nominated for the Emmy Award in 1995. Some of the most renowned films in which he has worked are Moon, Hellboy, Willow, Keeping Mum, Africa United and Night Train to Lisbon.

You can find references of his work in the following link: http://zimmermanncasting.com/credits/

 Francesco Vedovati, Casting Director / Italy 

Francesco Vedovati, ICDN, UNICD (Italy) is a casting director from Rome, Italy. He won the International Casting Director Award - ICDN) in 2018 in Sarajevo for the film Dogman, which was directed by Matteo Garrone, and was nominated for the same award in 2017 for his work on the film Pericle il Nero, directed by Stefano Mordini. In 2015, he won the Silver Robbin award for Best Casting for his work on the film Wondrous Boccaccio, directed by Paoli and Vittorio Taviani, as well as in 2018 with Dogman. In 2017 he joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, and in 2019 became a member of the European Film Academy. Vedovati worked with directors such as George Clooney (Catch-22), Valeria Golino (Miele and Euphoria), Sergio Castellitto (Fortunata), Luca Guadagnjino (I am Love), Gabriele Muccino (The Last Kiss) Saverio Costanzo (In Memory of Me), Gabriele Salvatores (The Invisible Boy), Gabriele Mainetti (They Call Me Jeeg dhe Freaks Out), Danny Boyle (Trust) and Fernando Meirelles (The Pope).

You can find his detailed filmography in the following link: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0891677/

 Yngvill Haga - Casting Director / Norway

Raised in a family of theatre workers, she aspired to be an actress. But she was eventually accepted in a production course in the Norwegian Film School.

Her passion for acting and actors, analyzing characters, and her desire to give life to film scenes, initially in the casting room (auditions), is what paved the way for Haga’s career as a casting professional. In recent years she has worked with some of the best directors in Norway, doing the casting for renowned films such as Thelma, directed by Joachim Trier; Sonja, directed by Anne Sewitsky; and TV drama State of Happiness, directed by Petter Ness.

You can find her filmography on the following link: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm3017953/

 Ulrike Muller, Casting Director / Germany

Ulrike Muller perfected the skill of casting for films in the Berlin School, under the leadership of Christoph Hochhausler, Angela Schanelec, Ulrich Kohler, Thomar Arslan and others. She has worked with renowned directors such as David Wnendt, Jessica Hausner and Fatih Akin, as well as in many international film projects. Her close cooperation with directors enables her to select unique casts in film and theatre projects, as well as to scout talent.

She has worked in films such as In My Room (2018) and Happy as Lazzaro (2018).

You can find her filmography on the following link: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1714212/

PriFest launched Kosovo Rising Stars two years ago with the objective of promoting and advancing Kosovo actors in the international scene. In the past couple of years, a group of 17 actors Kosovo actors were presented before international festival guests. This year, PriFest brings more focus to them through this key event in Kosovo Rising Stars.

Moreover, it is a special honor to host Shooting Stars Director Karin Dix, who together with Arben Zharku, Director of Kosovo Cinematography Center and one of the board members of European Film Promotion, will hold a detailed presentation about about what Shooting Stars is and what selection criteria they have for actors who are interested to take part in the prestigious European Film Promotion program.

Profits will be held next month from July 16 to 21. To secure easier access to many of the festival’s different activities as well as to watch films, representatives of media and the film industry can get accredited in the festival website, by following this link: http://prifest.org/accreditation/.

For more information about PriFest activities, follow our social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) or download the PriFest app on your smartphone or tablet.

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