KIERAN CHARNOCK - JACK
Born in 1992, Kieran grew up in Masterton, New Zealand, and first got into performing whilst a student at Rathkeale College. After finishing high school, Kieran trained in the UK at the Young Actors Studio at the esteemed Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Upon graduating, Kieran performed with numerous professional theatre companies in Wales including the Sherman Theatre Company and the Black Rat Theatre Company.
In 2011, Kieran returned to New Zealand to act with renowned Wellington theatre company Long Cloud Youth Theatre, where he worked with respected directors Willem Wassenaar and Aaron Cortesi. The next year, Kieran performed in national tours of Hamlet and Romeo and Julietwith the Ugly Shakespeare Company. In 2013, Kieran starred in his first screen role - as the lead actor in the New Zealand Film Commission funded short film Cub, which went on to screen and win awards at numerous film festivals around the world. Since then, Kieran has quickly started to rise through the ranks of New Zealand screen actors. His feature film credits include Slow West starring Michael Fassbender and his television credits include the high-profile New Zealand mini-series When We Go To War.
2016 saw the release of Kieran's first supporting role in a feature film - as William in The Rehearsal, the adaptation of Eleanor Catton's award-winning novel, directed by Alison Maclean (Crush, Jesus' Son). Kieran's co-stars in The Rehearsal include Kerry Fox (An Angel At My Table, Intimacy) and James Rolleston (Boy, The Dark Horse). Kieran was nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the 2017 New Zealand Film Awards for his performance in The Rehearsal.
In 2017, Kieran took on roles in two short films; New Zealand Film Commission funded Cleaver directed by Alex McKenna and proof-of-concept short film No Shame directed by Brendan Donovan. No Shame is a feature film adaptation of the New Zealand novel The Lazy Boys by Carl Shuker.
Kieran won the Silver Saint George Award for Best Actor for his performance in Stray at the 2018 Moscow International Film Festival. The esteemed festival jury included actor Natassja Kinski, producer Paolo Del Brocco, director Anna Melikyan, actor John Savage and director Liang Qiao. Previous winners of this award include Anthony Hopkins, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan.
ARTA DOBROSHI - GRACE
Arta Dobroshi is the first Kosovar actress in history to have starred in films that have screened at the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and be nominated for a European Film Award.
Arta was born in Kosovo and grew up between Prishtina (Kosovo), Tirana (Albania) and North Carolina (USA). She lived through the war in Kosovo, and as a refugee in 1999 she worked with the International Medical Corps to help build a hospital in a refugee camp in Macedonia. After the war she went on to work with NATO troops in Kosovo, helping people who were coming back to their homes. Whilst studying as an actor at the Prishtina Academy of Arts, Arta performed in numerous theatre productions and short films.
Arta came to international prominence in 2008 in the Dardenne brothers' film Lorna's Silence in which she played the title role to great acclaim and received international media attention. The film was awarded Best Screenplay at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and Arta received unanimously high praise for her performance from international press.
In 2008, Arta was appointed by the United Nations Development Programme as a MDG Champion / Goodwill Ambassador for Kosovo. The UNDP was impressed by her previous charity work and believed that her high profile would help raise awareness on issues in the region.
In 2009, Arta began collaborating with British director Daniel Mulloy, as the lead actress in the award-winning short film Baby. Arta has since produced and starred in their short film Atis and executive produced their short film Home.
Arta’s performance in Catherine Corsini's Three Worlds won her the Barbara Tipple Best Actress Award at the 2012 Women's International Film and Television Showcase in Los Angeles and a nomination for Most Promising Actress at the César Awards in France. Arta served on the Jury of the 2009 Berlin Film Festival and was the winner of the Shooting Stars Award at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival.
Arta was awarded Best Actress at the 2018 Festival des Antipodes for her performance in Stray.