'I'm so thrilled at award, it's surreal', says Shooting Star Aisling Franciosi
The Fall star follows in footsteps of Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Negga, Andrew Scott, Moe Dunford
Following in the footsteps of Irish acting royalty Domhnall Gleeson, Ruth Negga, Andrew Scott and Moe Dunford, actress Aisling Franciosi has been honoured with a prestigious European acting award.
The Irish-Italian star, who appeared opposite Jamie Dornan as infatuated babysitter Katie in psychological thriller The Fall, has been selected as a European Shooting Star after her outstanding performance in Australian period thriller The Nightingale.
The film, directed, written, and co-produced by Jennifer Kent, is set in 1825 in the British penal colony of Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and follows a young Irish convict - played by Franciosi - who is seeking revenge for an act of violence committed against her family.
The award is the oldest and most prestigious initiative to promote European talent for the international film market. Alicia Vikander, who is married to Michael Fassbender, also received the award, which was a stepping stone in her successful acting career.
Aisling (25) was chosen by a jury made up of US casting director Avy Kaufman, Serbian film critic Tara Karajica, Macedonian director Teona Strugar Mitevska, Irish producer Macdara Kelleher and Icelandic Shooting Star from 1999 Ingvar Sigurdsson.
The experts told how Aisling had "great acting range and superb instincts" deserving of the gong.
Aisling said she was "thrilled" to be named as a Shooting Star, and said her role in The Nightingale was one she "will never forget".
She added other recipients of the award were people she looked up to and aspired to be like in her career.
The 25-year-old also paid homage to director Kent upon hearing the news of the award, saying she was grateful she took a chance on her for the film.
"I am so thrilled and consider it a great honour to be chosen as a Shooting Star - particularly by such a jury," she said.
"Actors I really admire have been selected as a Shooting Star in the past, so it feels a little surreal.
"I owe so much to the people I have been lucky enough to work with from the beginning, but particularly to Jennifer Kent, who took a chance on me and trusted me with The Nightingale.
"It's a role and a project I will never forget. It's a film I will always be proud of."
Aisling will be presented with the award during the 69th Berlin International Film Festival, which runs from February 8-11 next year.
It is not the first time the actress, who is also a classically trained singer and pianist, has been honoured for her talent.
She received an Ifta for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2015 for her efforts in The Fall.