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Award-winning casting professionals discuss how European actors could “make it” in the US at PÖFF Black Nights Stars

Black Nights Stars, the initiative of the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event, holds an insightful panel discussion with internationally recognised casting directors such as Joseph MiddletonBilly Hopkins and Avy Kaufman, about the way auditions work in the States and how casting directors find European actors. The discussion is led by Lina Todd, a highly accomplished casting director based in New York.
Claudia Landsberger, the head of PÖFF Black Nights Stars programme commented, that numerous actors' dream is to work in the United States or with American productions. Still, most of them have no real idea about what this means and what one needs to do to actually get there. "We invited Lina Todd to do a panel with some of her colleagues and shed light on the matter. Joseph MiddletonBilly HopkinsAvy KaufmanAlice Whitley and Cynthia Campos-Greenberg, are all highly accomplished and major award-winning casting directors and talent managers with a wealth of experience working for Hollywood and independent productions, for big agencies such as ICM and William Morris Agency, and their own companies. It is a great honour for us to welcome these professionals to our online program, where they will meet the Black Nights Stars and share all that there is to know about this industry."  
The panellists include casting director Joseph Middleton ("Mr. & Mrs. Smith", "Twilight: New Moon," "The Bourne Supremacy," "Legally Blonde", "The Single Man"), casting director Billy Hopkins "Desperately Seeking Susan", "The United States vs. Billie Holiday", "Mudbound"), casting director Avy Kaufman ("Life of Pi", "Lincoln", "Prometheus", "Shame", "Brokeback Mountain", "Capote", "The Sixth Sense", "Dancer in the Dark"), a NY-based talent agent Alice Whitley and a representative of talent in Hollywood, Cynthia Campos-Greenberg. The conversation is moderated by casting director Lina Todd of Lina Todd Casting, USA, "The Way Back" (Peter Weir); "Little Man Tate" (Jodie Foster); "A Good Day to Die Hard" (John Moore), "Crazy Alien" (Hao Ning). 
The panel discussion takes place online at on November, 24 at 19:00 – 20:30 (EET) and is accessible for everyone with accreditation to Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event.
Black Nights Stars is designed to support young actors from the Baltic Sea region, to make their next steps into the international arena by connecting them to key international film professionals. The Black Nights Stars programme is presented by the Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event during the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, and the European Regional Development Fund project Creative Gate.

Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event is the one-week summit for film and audiovisual industry professionals held during PÖFF, on November 23-27, 2020. This year’s summit takes place fully online, welcoming projects and participants from around the globe. In 2020, Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event introduces Russia in Focus, a global presentation of Russian audiovisual content, film projects and creative talents at one of the key international co-production markets and producer's platforms to build strong ties between Russian and international creative industry players.  

Check out the programme at


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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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