Martina Apostolova is one of the European Shooting Stars at Berlinale 2020

European Film Promotion proudly presents the ten best up-and-coming actresses and actors from Europe to the film industry, public and international press during during the 70th Berlin International Film Festival

It was quite a challenge for the jury to choose the ten best actresses and actors out of this year’s 28 nominations of outstanding European talent, most of them already award-winning in their home countries. Here are the ten, that thrilled the jury the most: Martina Apostolova from Bulgaria “lends her characters an archetypal power that can connect with all audiences” in “Irina” (2018), for which she won numerous Best Actress awards from Hong Kong to Tbilisi. Here what adds the jury as arguments about Martina:

From her performances speaks a deeply felt understanding of the foul and fair days of the human condition. An understanding that manifests in countless facets: from wry lightness over fierce despair to heart-wrenching tenderness. With her wisdom and maturity she injects an authenticity into her characters that makes them universally relatable...

Martina Apostolova studied acting at New Bulgarian University in Sofia. She has performed on stage throughout Bulgaria, acting in more than twenty contemporary plays. She made her big screen debut as the lead in Nadejda Koseva’s “Irina” in 2018, for which she was awarded Best Actress at eight international film festivals. In addition to her work on several TV productions, Martina has also acted in the short film, “Whole”, directed by Slava Doytcheva and most recently in the feature, “Lament for the Silent Fool”, directed by Dimitar Kutmanov.

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The outstanding talents were selected by a jury of industry experts, who deemed them ready to step out onto the international film scene at the 23rd edition of EFP’s talent promotion programme. The other colleagues of Martina are Victoria Carmen Sonne (Denmark), Pääru Oja (Estonia), Zita Hanrot (France), Levan Gelbakhiani (Georgia), Jonas Dassler (Germany), Bilal Wahib (The Netherlands), Bartosz Bielenia (Poland), Joana Ribeiro (Portugal), Ella Rumpf (Switzerland).

EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS programme offers them the unique opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with over 80 internationally operating casting directors, producers and filmmakers, laying the foundation for a professional network much needed when embarking upon an international career. The programme culminates in an awards ceremony at the Berlinale Palast on Monday 24th, where each actor will be honoured with the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS Award. EFP’s flagship initiative is financially supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and the respective national film institutes, EFP’s member organisations.

EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS is the oldest and most efficient Europe-wide initiative to cast a spotlight on the most talented, up-and-coming actresses and actors. Since its first showcase in 1998, a total of 312 European Shooting Stars have been presented at the Berlinale, one of the most important international film festivals worldwide. Most notable actors of recent years include: Carey Mulligan (Mudbound), Alba Rohrwacher (Happy as Lazzaro), Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), Pilou Asbaek (Game of Thrones), Riz Ahmed (The Sisters Brothers), Marwan Kenzari (Instinct), George MacKay (Captain Fantastic), Bulgarian actors Vesela Kazakova, Ivan Burnev etc.

The European Shooting Stars 2020 are supported by their national film institutes, EFP’s member organizations: Bulgarian National Film Center, Danish Film Institute, Estonian Film Institute, Georgian National Film Center, German Films, Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal), Polish Film Institute, SEE NL (The Netherlands), SWISS FILMS and UniFrance.

Congratulations, Martina!