Aradalan Esmaili, Sweden's Shooting Star 2019. Photo by Mats Bäcker / Folkteatern Göteborg

The international jury for the European Film Promotion (EFP) has chosen Swedish actor Ardalan Esmaili as one of 2019’s European Shooting Stars. Esmaili played the lead role in Milad Alami’s critically acclaimed and award-winning The Charmer.

– I have always had great respect for the Berlin Film Festival and wanted to be part of the European film family. I feel incredibly honoured to receive this recognition, both being nominated by my country Sweden, and getting selected by the European Film Promotion. I have worked hard and this is proof that I will keep doing so, Ardalan Esmaili states.

Motivation of the jury: 
With a leading-man quality showing tremendous honesty in all his performances, Ardalan Esmaili climbs out of the expected and surprises us. In Milad Alami’s The Charmer, Esmaili instils his character with a tormented fragility and delivers a quietly twitchy, brilliant code-switching performance that retains the audience’s sympathy.​

Raised in Sweden by Iranian parents, Ardalan Esmaili studied at Stockholm's University of Dramatic Arts. After graduating in 2012, he was part of the ensemble at the Unga Klara theatre in Stockholm, where he performed his much talked-about monologue No Title. He also worked with playwright Suzanne Osten, who directed him in her 2016 film The Girl, the Mother and the Demons. Esmaili’s breakthrough role was in Danish-Swedish The Charmer (2017), the feature-film debut for Swedish-Iranian director Milad Alami. In the leading role, Esmaili played an Iranian man in Copenhagen who risks being deported as he desperately fights to be granted permission to remain in the country. The Charmer has been lauded by critics and won awards at a number of international film festivals including Palm Springs, San Sebastian, Chicago, Warszaw, Gothenburg and the Nordic Film Days Lübeck. This year Esmaili has also starred in Danish-Swedish crime series Greyzone .
Next year will see Ardalan Esmaili in Irish director Neasa Hardiman’s Sea FeverNiels Arden Oplev’s Danish-Swedish Daniel and Brian De Palma’s new thriller Domino.
Previous Swedish Shooting Stars include Alba August (2018), Karin Franz Körlof (2017), Bill Skarsgård (2012), Alicia Vikander (2011) and Tuva Novotny (2002).

The Berlin International Film Festival is held between 7–17 February 2019.

To schedule an interview with Ardalan Esmaili, please contact Aleksandra, +46 (0) 736 00 96 20.


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The Swedish Film Institute works to promote film across the board – from idea to finished product, during launch in Sweden and around the world, and by preserving films for posterity in our archives. The Guldbagge Awards are Sweden’s leading film awards and have been presented by The Swedish Film Institute since 1964. In our database The Swedish Film Database you can search for information about all Swedish feature-length films released at the cinema since 1897. Read on: | | 


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