Magazine article Screen International

Locarno: 'Standing Tall' Team Win Inaugural European Casting Director Award

Magazine article Screen International

Locarno: 'Standing Tall' Team Win Inaugural European Casting Director Award

Article excerpt

Long - and unjustifiably - overlooked when it comes to awards, casting directors finally had their moment in the sun in Locarno on Sunday night.

The first European Casting Director Award - an initiative of the International Casting Director Network (ICDN) and Locarno Film Festival (Aug 3-13), backed by media partner Screen International - was given to Antoinette Boulat and Elsa Pharaon from France for their work on Emmanuelle Bercot'sStanding Tall, which opened Cannes last year and launched the young actor Rod Paradot who later received a Cesar for his work.

A jury of Swiss director Ursula Meier, the German producer Peter Rommel, and the French actress Clotilde Courau judged the final seven contenders, from 21 European films which were long-listed by members of the ICDN. In an enthusiastically-received ceremony at Locarno, Courau paid tribute to the casting fraternity, and movingly recalled how casting directors had supported her throughout her career, and have been allies for so many other actors during what can be a tough and lengthy process.

Courau (In The Shadow Of Women) noted how every great actor, at one point, has been discovered, almost always by an astute casting director and expressed gratitude for the help she has received. Like Locarno's Head of Industry, Nadia Dresti, she said hoped this ICDN-backed award would become a regular fixture and a first step towards more global recognition. (The ICDN was founded in 2005 as part of the European Shooting Stars initiative, backed by European Film Promotion, and represented at Locarno by President Martin Schweighofer and Karin Dix. …

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