Ten finalists named for AACTA Young Stars National Youth Casting Call

AACTA has announced the ten finalists for its national youth casting call, run in collaboration with Casting Networks and the Casting Guild of Australia (CGA).

They include Stacy Clausen, Conor Colgan, Arwen Diamond, Mia Foran, Chaydon Jay, Lokota Kayn, Giulia Modenese, Kayden Price, Matilda Ross and Sepi To’a.

Open to 13 to 18-year-olds, the program aims to identify the country’s next generation of talent and provide them with opportunities to realise their dream careers.

The final ten were chosen from a top 50 who were invited to attend the AACTA Festival earlier this month on the Gold Coast, where they took part in workshops and mentoring opportunities with casting directors Thea McLeod, Anousha Zarkesh and Nikki Barrett, and recorded a casting tape. Each finalist also presented a scripted scene to the panel of McLeod, Zarkesh and Barrett. After receiving direction from the judges, they had the chance to incorporate this feedback during their second take, mirroring a genuine casting experience

A winner will be announced next week, determined by three casting directors alongside Liz Mullane, and actors Claudia Karven and Mark Coles Smith. The winner will receive a $10,000 Flight Centre voucher and $2,500 cash in travel support to fly to the United States where they will have the opportunity to meet with an unnamed international casting director, network and participate in a weeklong workshop at Howard Fine Acting Studio in Los Angeles.

They will also have access to The Studio by Casting Networks in Sydney for a full year and will have the chance to meet with both Australian-based casting directors and agents.

AACTA Awards and industry development manager Ivan Vukusic said the inaugural initiative had unearthed “exceptional and exciting” new talent.

“Our top 10 finalists showcase remarkable charisma and skill, and reflect the wealth of eager and diverse talent Australia wide. Congratulations to all the finalists for their incredible achievements, and we eagerly anticipate the bright futures of these emerging stars,” he said.

CGA president Thea McLeod said: “We were thrilled to meet the 50 remarkable finalists at the AACTA festival on the Gold Coast. The calibre of talent on display was nothing short of extraordinary and their combined skills showcase the abundant talent flourishing across Australia. It was a privilege for Nikki Barrett, Anousha Zarkesh and myself to collaborate with such a diverse group of exceptionally gifted young actors.”