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Discover the Seven actors selected for the first edition of Screen Stars Tallinn


Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and Industry@Tallinn announce participants of the new Screen Stars Tallinn initiative are announced - seven up-and-coming actors from Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Germany.

Screen Stars Tallinn is a three-day lab and talent showcase for young actors from the Baltic Sea Region, launched this year by Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival. The first edition will take place on November 28-30 and offer the participants meetings with casting agents and filmmakers, masterclasses and networking events. The programme is open for actors who have already performed in films in their respective countries and now wish to enter the international acting scene.

A number of well-known casting directors, agents and film directors will function as mentors and experts, and share experiences and useful tips at masterclasses. These are Stephanie Holbrook, casting director (USA), Debbie McWilliams, casting director (UK), Beatrice Kruger, casting director (Italy), Molly Wansell, agent (UK), Georg Georgi, agent (Germany), Laura Munsterhjelm, agent (Finland), Deborah Kara Unger, actress (Canada) and Steven Bernstein, director (USA).

Says Tiina Lokk, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival: 'There is great talent in the field of acting in our region and we have created Screen Stars Tallinn to put a spotlight on that. We want to offer the participants a springboard for future international careers and a programme mixing training, promotion and networking. We can’t wait to welcome the actors and mentors to this first edition.

The Screen Stars Tallinn experts are presented in more detail at our website. On November 28 at 14.00-16.30, they will participate in a seminar open to all Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event participants "International Film Casting - How to Score the Roles You Dream About". The seminar takes place at Kultuurikatel, Põhja puiestee 27.


Screen Stars Tallinn Participants 2017



Photo credit: Siim Vahur



Maiken Schmidt (Estonia)
Maiken Schmidt was born in Kilingi-Nõmme in 1985. She has graduated from Tallinn University, majoring in choreography, and the Estonian Academy of Theatre and Music, majoring in performing arts. Since 2012, she works as an actress in Tallinn City Theatre. Maiken has had roles in stage plays, films and TV series, played in three musicals as a dancer and actress, created choreography for productions and worked as a voice over artist for cartoons. different stage plays as well as other projects including films, TV series, dubbing for cartoons, creating choreography for productions, dancing, teaching public speaking, etc. She has also played in three musicals as a dancer and actress. Maiken has appeared in student films, among them Spring a la Carte by D. Tääker and The Second Pie Robbery by K. Kokk, and five full-length features, Demons by Ain Mäeots, 1944 by Elmo Nüganen, Mihkel by A. A. Ergis Magnússon, The End of the Chain (screens in the Estonian Competition programme of Black Nights) by Priit Pääsuke, Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom (to be released in 2019).





Hendrik Toompere jr (Estonia)
Hendrik Toompere jr is a third generation Estonian actor and stage director. In 2010, he graduated from the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and has since been working at the Estonian Drama Theatre. He played in short and student films at university and has now become one of the most desired male film actors in Estonia. His first feature film role was in 2012 in Toomas Hussar’s film Mushrooming, which won the Audience Award at the Karlovy Vary IFF East of West programme and went on to screen at many festivals worldwide. The 2015 domestic box office hit 1944 starring Hendrik has now been sold to more than 20 territories. Both films were the Estonian submissions for the Foreign Language Academy Award. In 2016, Hendrik played the lead in Triin Ruumet’s debut film The Days That Confused, which brought him the Estonian Film Award for Best Actor. In 2017, we can see Hendrik in supporting roles in the feature films The End of the Chain and The Eternal Road that both screen at Black Nights competitions.





Elina Vaska (Latvia)
Elina Vaska was cast in the main role of Renars Vimba's feature debut Mellow Mud as she began studying Theory of Audiovisual Art and Theatre at the Latvian Academy of Culture. Mellow Mud won the Crystal Bear for Best Film on its world premiere at the Berlinale's Generation 14plus strand last year. Elina, who has now also made her stage acting debut, was awarded with the Latvian National Film Award Lielais Kristaps for her role in Mellow Mud and with other awards, not only in Europe. Elina Vaska has been named among the 2017 European Shooting Stars. Praising Vaska's performance in Mellow Mud, the jury commented: "She just made her debut, and what's the debut of this. We could compare it with some classic predecessors, but we will not. Elina's performance is all her own, subtle, contemplative and with a soulful glow. It's the power of the unspoken in a very pure form." With experience in films, TV series and music videos, Elina continues to search for challenges as an actress.





Rosa Honkonen (Finland)
Rosa Honkonen, born in 2000, started acting at age 9 in a musical theatre school. After her first auditions, she bagged a role in a musical, and enrolled in Kruununhaka’s Junior High School, which specialised in music and dancing. From there, she moved to the TV series Satanen and soon thereafter met Anastasia Lobkovski, who has cast her in many roles since then. While shooting Satanen, she was cast in the teaser for the film The Collection, followed by a role in MTV3’s series Hinnalla Millä Hyvänsä, directed by Samuli Valkama. Her first major film role was the main supporting character in Hannaleena Hauru’s Thick Lashes of Lauri Mäntyvaara. In 2017, she played in Stupid Young Heart, directed by Selma Vilhunen. Honkonen is now studying, majoring in international business, but her biggest passion remains acting.





Credit: German Films / Jens Koch


Louis Hofmann (Germany)
Louis Hofmann was born in Cologne in 1997. His first role was in the TV movie Der Verlorene Vater (2010). Director Hermine Huntgeburth cast him in Tom Sawyer in 2011 and The Adventures of Huck Finn in 2012. For his performance in Sanctuary, he won a Bavarian Film Award 2014. His first international role was in the Oscar® nominated Danish-German co-production Land of Mine, for which he received the award for Best Male Actor at the Tokyo IFF, as well as the Danish Film Award for Best Supporting Actor. He recently played in Center of My World by Jakob M. Erwa. In May 2016, Hofmann received the German Actors Prize for Newcomer, as well as the Jaeger-LeCoultre Hommage to German Film for Land Of Mine. At the Berlinale in 2017, Hofmann returned as one of the 10 European Shooting Stars. He can also be seen in the first German series for Amazon, You Are Wanted. He currently stars in the first German-language Netflix series, DARK, in Different Kinds Of Rain, and in the upcoming Prélude.





Gelmine Glemžaite (Lithuania)
Gelminė Glemžaitė was born in 1990, in Vilnius, Lithuania. She started her acting studies at the Lithuanian Music and Theatre Academy in 2011, and graduated with a BA in 2014. In 2017, she was nominated for the Best Lithuanian Film Actress award at Vilnius International Film Festival, and for the Best Supporting Actress at the Lithuanian national film awards, Silver Crane. At the moment, she’s working in cinema and theatre. Selected filmography: Ten Reasons / Dešimt priežasčių (dir. Andrius Blaževičius, short film, 30 min., 2011, Lithuania), Sobaka (short film, dir. Domas Petronis, 2014, Lithuania), The Saint / Šventasis (dir. Andrius Blaževičius, feature film, 93 min., 2016, Lithuania, Poland), Poilsiautojai. Pavydo žaidynės (feature film,  dir. Simonas Aškelavičius, 2017, Lithuania), The Snake (short film, dir. Titas Laucius, 2017, Lithuania), Summer Survivors (feature film, dir. Marija Kavtaradzė, work in progress, Lithuania).





Lena Morris (Germany)
Lena Morris is an aspiring young actress born and raised in Northern Germany. After her A levels and attending school theatre, she lived a year abroad in England and took an acting class in Maidenhead (England). To study drama, she moved to Berlin. During her three years studies, she began to film A Thought of Ecstasy, that screens in the Official Selection of Black Nights this year.  Currently she lives in Berlin and is playing on stage at Pfefferberg Theater.


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About Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival

Started in 1997, the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival has grown into one of the biggest film festivals in Northern Europe and busiest regional industry platforms, hosting more than 1000 guests and industry delegates and over 160 journalists. The festival screens around 250 features and more than 300 shorts and animations and sees an attendance of 80 000 people annually. In 2017 the festival was covered in 71 languages with a potential global media audience of over 1.1 billion people.

As of 2014 the festival holds the FIAPF accreditation for holding an international competition programme which puts the festival into the so- called A-category of film festivals, alongside other 14 festivals in the world (including Cannes, Berlinale, Venice, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastian, Shanghai, Tokyo etc).  

Black Nights has an umbrella structure with two sub-festivals PÖFF Shorts and youth and children's film festival Just Film taking place concurrently with the main festival,
two off-season festivals - Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival and Tartu Love Film Festival - and a fully-fledged film industry platform Industry@Tallinn, organised jointly with the Baltic Event Co-production market.

Black Nights Film Festival 16 Nov - 2 Dec
PÖFF Shorts 20 Nov - 25 Nov
Just Film 16 Nov - 2 Dec
Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event 26 Nov - 30 Nov



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