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International Casting Directors Network's 2021 Best Casting Award announced during Black Nights film festival


Lucy Padree

For the first time, the Semiramis Award for Best Casting was announced as part of the Black Nights Stars Program, a subprogram of  Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event and Black Nights Film Festival. The 2021 award Semiramis Award for Best Casting was handed out to researcher, writer and BAFTA-winning casting director Lucy Pardee for Rocks by Sarah Gavron (2019). 

The casting for Rocks has already earned her a Bafta Award  Best Casting 2021, BIFA Best Casting award and Critics' Circle award. Previously she has acted as a casting director for Dirty God by Sasha Polak  (2019) and  Perfect 10, by Eva Riley (2019) and  American Honey by Andrea Arnold (2016) among many others.

Black Nights Stars, launched by Black Nights Film Festival in 2017, 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 program facilitates connections with casting directors, including the members of ICDN, training and mentoring for their future international careers. 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 Award for Best Casting was established in 2016 as the first-ever international prize for best casting of a feature film, spotlighting the essential role and extraordinary achievements of casting directors around the world in the filmmaking process. As of 2020, this award has been named The Semiramis Award for Best Casting. The ICDN's purpose in creating this award is to shine the light on the pivotal role that casting directors play in the creative process of filmmaking.


The Black Nights Stars 2021 (from left): Kristina Morta Paškevičiūtė (Lithuania), Viktoriya Miroshnichenko (Russia),  Tua El-Fawwal (Germany), Miika Pihlak (Estonia)​​, Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Denmark)  Doris Tislar (Estonia)​​, Jan Hrynkiewicz (Poland), Elias Westerberg (Finland)
Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event is the one-week summit for film and audiovisual industry professionals held during PÖFF, on November 19-26, 2021. This year's summit, celebrating its 20th anniversary, takes place in Tallinn but is also most accessible online via Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event will take a closer look at the United Kingdom film industry together with the British Film Institute (BFI) including British projects participating in industry programmes and a delegation of producers looking for networking opportunities, as well as presentations, masterclasses and panel discussions featuring British speakers. A side programme of UK films will also screen as part of the 25th Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival


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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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