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Leonie Benesch is the German Shooting Star 2023


EFP (European Film Promotion) today announced the ten European up-and-coming actors who will be honoured as EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2023. Leonie Benesch was selected to represent Germany.

An international jury of experts, consisting of Polish director Jan Komasa, Dutch casting director Rebecca van Unen, Norwegian producer Maria Ekerhovd as well as Variety’s international features editor Leo Barraclough from Great Britain and former Spanish Shooting Star Veronica Echegui, selected eight women and two men as the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2023 from 27 nominations. These five experts recognised the remarkable potential of the talents for an international career based on their outstanding work in the feature films and drama series submitted for their nomination.

Those selected as EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2023 are Joely Mbundu (Belgium), Alina Tomnikov (Finland), Leonie Benesch (Germany), Thorvaldur Kristjansson (Iceland), Benedetta Porcaroli (Italy), Yannick Jozefzoon (The Netherlands), Kristine Kujath Thorp (Norway), Judith State (Romania), Gizem Erdogan (Sweden) and Kayije Kagame (Switzerland).

Leonie Benesch was celebrated at the age of 18 as a major new talent by film critics for her performance in Michael Haneke's multi-award-winning drama THE WHITE RIBBON (2008). Numerous feature films and TV movies followed. In 2017, Leonie Benesch appeared in two episodes of the British Netflix series THE CROWN. In 2018, she received the German Actor's Award for her role as Greta Overbeck in the German series BABYLON BERLIN. The third season of the hit series was aired by the ARD in October 2020 when she appeared as Greta for the last time. Most recently, she starred in PERSIAN LESSONS, SPY CITY, THE TURNCOAT as well as AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS. Leonie Benesch's latest role is as the lead in Ilker Çatak's THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE which will be released in 2023. The jury was enthusiastic about her portrayal of an idealistic teacher battling to solve a dilemma while resisting institutional pressure to compromise. “She shows a nobility and sincerity of character that transcends the everyday setting of the school, while keeping the audience guessing as to what will happen next," the jury said about its choice of Leonie Benesch as Shooting Star.

Leonie Benesch on being selected: „It is a great honour for me to be a European Shooting Star 2023, especially since it is for a project like THE TEACHERS’ LOUNGE that means so much to me. I'm really looking forward to the Berlinale and meeting my colleagues from all over Europe and exchanging ideas and experiences with them."

Previous German SHOOTING STARS have included Emilio Sakraya (2022), Albrecht Schuch (2021), Jonas Dassler (2020), Emma Drogunova (2019), Franz Rogowski (2018), Louis Hofmann (2017), Jella Haase (2016) and Jannis Niewöhner (2015).

European Film Promotion will present the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS 2023 to the international film world during the Berlinale’s first weekend. The European talents will be introduced to international casting directors, agents, directors, producers and the media at various events and workshops. The final highlight will be the presentation of the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS Awards on the stage of the Berlinale Palast on 20 February, 2023.

The EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS programme is supported by Creative Europe - MEDIA Programme of the EU as well as by the participating EFP member organisations and other cooperation partners.

German Films is a founding member of EFP (European Film Promotion), which is organising the EUROPEAN SHOOTING STARS selection and presentation for the 26th time this year.