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Breakthrough Performers at The Hamptons International Film Festival

The Hamptons International Film Festival and OK! Magazine will continue the popular Rising Stars Showcase, welcoming three North American actors to highlight their talents and films at the 2008 Festival. This year the Festival is expanding this program for the first time to officially include three actors from the Shooting Stars program, an initiative of European Film Promotion (EFP), which is supported by the MEDIA Programme of the EU. In all, six very talented and exciting young actors will be on hand to help light up the screens and adorn the red carpets at the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival.

Now in its 7th year, the Rising Stars program was conceived as a means of celebrating the key role actors play in the making of films. Rising Stars has grown into a dynamic and highly anticipated program, which provides a platform for extraordinary up and coming talent “on the rise”.

“The process of recognizing up-and-coming talent each year for the Rising Stars showcase is thrilling,” says Lina Todd, Rising Stars Program Director. “The enthusiasm these young actors inject into the Festival is truly contagious.”

Entering its 12th year, Shooting Stars, which debuts each year at the Berlin International Film Festival, showcases young actors who are well known in their native countries, and on the way to international recognition. The actors are selected by a jury of industry professionals, and represent the best up-and-coming talent from the 28 member countries of EFP. For the first time, EFP will bring the program to the US, introducing three young European actors at the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival.

“Through the Shooting Stars initiative we have seen many talented young actors emerge and move into very successful careers in film,” says Renate Rose, Managing Director of European Film Promotion. “Our aim in this new venture is to actively incude the actors in the marketing of their films, and at the same time, to help them make the jump from national to international recognition. ”

The 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival welcomes:

Rising Stars

Jake Abel (Flash of Genius) first appeared in the Disney Channel movie Go Figure. Television credits include Cold Case, CSI: Miami, and most recently, Life. Feature films include Adam Sandler’s Strange Wilderness, The Lovely Bones and Tru Loved. Jake comes to the Hamptons International Film Festival with the 2008 A.P. Sloan Award winner, Flash of Genius, which also features Greg Kinnear and Alan Alda.

Kate Mara (Stone of Destiny) first appeared in Sydney Pollack’s romantic drama Random Hearts at the age of 14. Mara has proved herself a first-rate actress with star turns in Shooter, We are Marshall and Brokeback Mountain. Most recently she can be seen in Transsiberian alongside Sir Ben Kingsley, Open Road with co-stars Justin Timberlake, Jeff Bridges and Mary Steenburgen and in the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival selection Stone of Destiny, with Charlie Cox.

Taylor Kitsch (Gospel Hill), best known for the critically acclaimed NBC series Friday Night Lights and his eagerly anticipated X-Men Origins: Wolverine, has also appeared in Snakes on a Plane, The Covenant and John Tucker Must Die. Kitsch comes to the Hamptons International Film Festival with Gospel Hill also starring Julia Stiles, Samuel L. Jackson and Danny Glover, directed by Giancarlo Esposito.

Shooting Stars

Hannah Herzsprung (Werther) made her feature film acting debut in the 2007 Hamptons International Film Festival Audience Award winner Four Minutes (Vier Minuten) directed by Chris Kraus. Herzsprung earned the 2007 Bavarian Film Award for "Best Young Actress" for her role in Four Minutes, as well as the Bunte readership's "New Faces Award".

Anamaria Marinca (Boogie) first came to public attention in 2005 when she won the “Best Actress” BAFTA for her performance in the British Channel 4 TV mini-series Sex Traffic by David Yates. Anamaria appeared in Cristian Mungiu’s Palme d'Or-winning drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks And 2 Days, which was her feature film acting debut. Her performance earned her a “Best Actress” nomination during the 20th European Film Awards in Berlin and the “Best Actress” prize at the Stockholm International Film Festival. She can also be seen in The Aviatrix directed by Ineke Smits and Hans Christian Schmid’s Storm.

Maryam Hassouni (Dunya & Desie) starred in the award winning original series Dunya & Desie. In 2005, Maryam received and Emmy Award for “Best Actress” in Sacrifices. Other works include Shouf Shouf! and Albert ter Heerdt's Kicks. Maryam reprises her role as Dunya in Dana Nechushtan's theatrical film Dunya & Desie which will have its premiere at the 2008 Hamptons International Film Festival and which is this year's Oscar submission from Holland.

In addition to screening the actor’s recent films, HIFF has continued to expand this unique actor’s program to include more informal, intimate gatherings in which Rising Star and Shooting Star participants can meet and share creative ideas in a personal setting with the directors, producers, writers, veteran actors, and prominent industry executives who will be at the Festival this year. This year, Casting Director Victoria Burrows, will lead a private casting workshop for the actors, who will also have the oppotunity to take part in a public symposium.

Rounding out the program, are Red Carpet events, an evening Reception and an intimate mentoring brunch (past mentors have included Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, Ellen Burstyn, Robert Altman, Miranda Richardson and Alec Baldwin). The Hamptons is proud to announce this year’s mentor will be Oscar Winner and critically acclaimed actress Frances McDormand (Fargo, Burn After Reading), who will also be participating in the Conversation With…series, moderated by Elvis Mitchell.

The Hamptons International Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent film - long, short, narrative and documentary - introducing a unique and varied spectrum of international films and filmmakers to our audiences. The festival is committed to exhibiting films that express fresh voices and differing global perspectives, with the hope that these programs will enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment for all. The 16th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival will be held October 15 through October 19, 2008. Announcements on additional films, programs, events and guests will be forthcoming.




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