Emerging Actors, Emerging Stars
Join us as we explore the changing nature of the 'star system' and how new opportunities are emerging globally for talented actors to break into the industry. By taking a look at three major film industries - Hollywood, Bollywood and Egypt - and their respective systems for creating stars, we'll discuss how the Middle East can devise a new approach to developing the next generation of Arab talent and launching global careers. This interactive event will showcase the best auditions from a recent regional casting call for a major feature film by acclaimed French director Jean-Jacques Annaud. Two talented actors will learn that they have landed the role of their dreams. Audiences are invited to contribute to this conversation, so please join us. This event is open to the public and Arabic interpretation headsets will be available. Tickets can be purchased at any box office location.
Webber has directed documentaries with subjects as far ranging as Wagner to crash test dummies. He made his feature directing debut with “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” which earned a Polish Film Award as Best European Film, a CICAE Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the Audience and Golden Hitchcock Awards at the Dinard British Film Festival, as well as three Academy Award nominations. Webber previously served as Creative Director of Qatar's National Day 2009.
Nada Abou Farhat
Tarak Jr. Ben Ammar
After convincing George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to film parts of “Star Wars “and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in Tunisia, he became a producer in his own right. In 1990, he founded Quinta Communications, building the company into the first vertically integrated European media organisation run by someone from the Arab world. The company now possesses all stages of the production process, from post-production labs to distribution, and also owns two studios in Tunisia. The group also is a shareholder in Nessma, the only independent satellite station covering the Maghreb region. Tarak is a board member of The Weinstein Company, as well as Mediobanca and Telecom Italia. His recent producing credits include Peter Webber’s “Hannibal Rising,” Rachid Bouchareb’s “Outside The Law,” and Julian Schnabel’s “Miral.”
Ahmed El Attar
Casting Director, SEE Foundation
El Attar is an Egyptian theatre director, translator and playwright. He is founder and artistic director of the Temple Independent Theatre Company as well as the owner and founder of Orient productions for Film and Theatre. He is also the founder and General Manager of Studio Emad Eddin Foundation, which provides rehearsals, residencies & training spaces to artists in Cairo. El Attar has a BA in Theatre from the American University in Cairo and an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle. El Attar's most recent production, “On the Importance of Being an Arab” premiered at the Sharjah Biennal in March 2009. Orient productions co-produced the Iraqi feature “The Dawn of the World” by director Abbas Fadel.
Casting Director, Chrystie Street Casting
Hopkins has cast over 200 films, from Susan Seidelman's “Desperately Seeking Susan” to Lee Daniels' award winning “Precious.” Upcoming features include Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin” starring Tilda Swinton, Sebastian Silva's first English language film “Second Child,” the ultra-low-budget “Losing It” and Adrian Lyne's new film “Silence.” His television credits include “Roseanne” and Emmy-nominated work on HBO’s “Sex and the City.”
President and CEO, Lall Entertainment
Lall is a film producer, journalist, documentary filmmaker and soon-to-be-published novelist. He launched the privately-held motion picture company Lall Entertainment at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and produced the animation feature “Ramayana - The Epic” released by Warner Bros in India. In 2000, Lall was named executive director of the trade group Indian Broadcasting Foundation, a position held for three years. He has also been Indian correspondent of the trade Screen International for over 13 years.
Co-Chairman and COO, Morgan Creek Pictures
Rick Nicita became the Co-Chairman and COO of Morgan Creek Productions in August 2008. He had previously been Co-Chairman of Creative Artists Agency, where he had been a motion picture agent for 28 years. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1967 and began his career at the William Morris Agency in New York in 1968. He worked in the Motion Picture Department representing actors and actresses until 1976, when he transferred to William Morris. In 1980, he joined CAA, where he went on to co-head the Motion Picture Department and head the Talent Department before being named Co-Chairman in 1995. Over the years, he has represented many of the world’s leading actors and directors, including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Kurt Russell and Jeff Bridges, among others.
Freida Pinto’s debut performance in the Oscar-winning film "Slumdog Millionaire" came about after six months of auditions. The film began to make its mark at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, where it won the Cadillac People's Choice Award. At the 2009 Golden Globes, the movie won four awards, and Pinto was nominated for "Best Actress in a Supporting Role" at the 2009 BAFTA Awards. For the actress, the highest compliment came when she and her co-stars won Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. After "Slumdog Millionaire," Pinto bagged five more film roles with directors like Woody Allen, Julian Schnabel, Tarsem Singh, Rupert Wyatt ,and Jean-Jacques Annaud. She also became new global face of beauty brand L'Oreal Paris. In addition, Pinto topped People's Most Beautiful Stars of 2009, and she also was on Vanity Fair magazine’s 'Helen of Troy' listing of the world's most beautiful women.