TALLINN, ESTONIA. For the first time, the Semiramis Award for Excellence in Casting was announced as part of Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and Black Nights Film Festival subprogramme Black Nights Stars.
The Award was handed out to researcher and BAFTA-winning casting director Lucy Pardee for Rocks by Sarah Gavron (2020).
Lucy Pardee had already won a BAFTA, a BIFA and a Critics’ Circle award for casting the eight-time BAFTA-nominated feature, for which she notably populated the lead cast with young people who had never acted before, and around whom the story is shaped. The lead Bukky Bakray also won the rising star BAFTA.
Lucy specialises in street casting and long-term script research, and has worked with some of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers in the United Kingdom. She is “renowned for her ability to find non-professional performers from beyond the established film industry and the agencies and drama schools that conveyor-belt the pedigree talent” (The Guardian).
The award was presented at Black Nights Film Festival with some (due to pandemic restrictions) ICDN members present, including Tusse Lande, Piotr Bartuszek, Lana Veenker, Timka Grin, Jantsu Puumalainen and Lilia Hartmann Trapani. Pardee accepted her award by video from London.
A virtual version of the award ceremony is also available here, with thanks to our partners at Spotlight:
The five 2021 finalists were chosen out of 18 contenders by a jury consisting of select ICDN members. This year, they were:
- UNITED KINGDOM – ROCKS (2020) by Sarah Gavron – Casting by Lucy Pardee
- GERMANY – BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (2020) by Burhan Qurbani – Casting by: Suse Marquardt; Co-Casting: Alexandra Koknat
- ITALY – LE SORELLE MACALUSO (2020) by Emma Dante – Casting by: Maurilio Mangano
- UKRAINE – MY THOUGHTS ARE SILENT (2020) by Antonio Lukic – Casting by: Alla Samoylenko
- USA – SOUND OF METAL (2020) by Darius Marder – Casting by: Susan Shopmaker; Boston Casting: Lisa Lobel & Angela Peri
Congratulations to the winner and nominees!
Black Nights Stars, launched by Black Nights Film Festival in 2017 under the direction of Claudia Landsberger, is designed to support young actors from the Baltic Sea region – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia – to gain international visibility, and promote themselves inside and outside their home territories. The programme facilitates connections with casting directors (including the members of ICDN), trainings, and mentoring for their future international career. In 2021, The Black Nights Stars presented eight talents, including Miika Pihlak (Estonia), Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Denmark), Jan Hrynkiewicz (Poland), Doris Tislar (Estonia), Tua El-Fawwal (Germany), Viktoriya Miroshnichenko (Russia), Elias Westerberg (Finland) and Kristina Morta Paškevičiūtė (Lithuania).
The ICDN Best Casting Award was established in 2016, and renamed Semiramis Award in 2020. The ICDN’s purpose in creating this award was to shine a light on the pivotal role that casting directors play in the creative process of filmmaking. Unfortunately, our profession is systematically under-recognized within the film and television industry. Our goals are thus to increase the presence and prominence of casting directors at film festivals and, ultimately, to ensure that casting takes its proper place as a category at all the major international awards.