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Recipient of the Inaugural AACTA Young Stars National Youth Casting Call Announced

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) in collaboration with Casting Networks Australia and the Casting Guild of Australia are thrilled to announce that Mia Foran is the recipient of AACTA Young Stars National Youth Casting Call. The nationwide initiative strives to discover emerging acting talent and offer tangible opportunities to assist aspiring performers in achieving their dreams.

Hailing from Adelaide, Mia showed an incredible passion for storytelling with a bright future ahead of them. The 17-year-old actor impressed the judging panel with her exceptional talent, dedication, and promise during the rigorous selection process, standing out among a pool of incredibly talented young performers.

Mia Foran said of her experience, “I am humbled and honoured to be selected as the Inaugural AACTA Young Star especially amongst such a high calibre of talented individuals around Australia. I hope that I am able to inspire others to continue striving and working hard to achieve their goals with sheer determination, commitment and positive self belief.  My sincere gratitude to all the incredible, esteemed judges whom I was fortunate enough to work with and the AACTA team for creating such a brilliant platform and opportunity for young, emerging artists to showcase their acting skills. And big thanks to my parents, agent and coaches who share this accolade with me. I am forever thankful for your constant support and guidance over the years and look forward to sharing many more amazing opportunities and experiences with you all. 

The judging panel was made up of Australia’s top Casting Directors, led by Thea McLeod (Neighbours, Better Man, Measure For Measure, Pawno), Anousha Zarkesh (The New Boy, Mystery Road, Total Control, Preppers), Nikki Barrett (Elvis, Mad Max: Fury Road, Talk to Me, The Power of the Dog, The Babadook), and Liz Mullane (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, King Kong, Mortal Engines), as well as AACTA Award winning actors Claudia Karvan and Mark Coles Smith

Mia will now receive a $10,000 Flight Centre voucher and $2500 cash in travel support to fly to the United States where they will have the opportunity to meet with a renowned international Casting Director, network with key industry practitioners and participate in a weeklong workshop at Howard Fine Acting Studio in Los Angeles. She 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.

The Young Stars initiative aims to provide aspiring young actors with a platform to showcase their skills and kickstart their careers in the entertainment industry. It represents the Australian Academy’s ongoing commitment to supporting and fostering the next generation of talent. As the Australian screen industry continues to grow in strength, AACTA is excited to continue to champion young emerging actors and assist in the growth of their talent.

AACTA Awards and Industry Development Manager Ivan Vukusic, “Very happy and excited for the wonderfully talented Mia Foran, our inaugural Young Stars recipient. A standout from what was an exceptionally talented Top 10, Mia will now work with our team at Casting Networks and the CGA to ramp up her career both here and internationally. Many thanks to our wonderful judges – all exceptional world class Casting Directors - who now look forward to working more closely with Mia on the many opportunities ahead. The world will be seeing a lot more from Mia Foran, and we couldn’t be happier to be helping her on her journey.”

Casting Networks General Manager Ram Pitchumani said, “We are thrilled to congratulate Mia on behalf of Casting Networks as the winner of this year’s Young Stars Competition. Her exceptional talent and dedication have truly set her apart, and we are excited to follow her journey as she embarks on what promises to be a remarkable career.

“To all our finalists, your creativity, passion, and resilience have not gone unnoticed. You represent the bright future of our industry, and we encourage you to continue honing your craft. Your journey doesn’t end here; it’s just the beginning of endless possibilities that lie ahead.

“We extend our heartfelt thanks to every participant who shared their talent with us. Your participation has made this competition a vibrant showcase of emerging talent. A special thank you to our esteemed judges for their dedication and insightful evaluations throughout the competition. Your expertise has been invaluable in shaping the future stars of our industry.

“Casting Networks is committed to nurturing emerging talent, and the success of this event reaffirms our dedication. We are already looking forward to next year's Young Stars Competition with great anticipation. Furthermore, our engagement in initiatives like the Spotlight prize in the UK underscores our ambition to expand our support for aspiring talent globally. This year’s competition has set a new benchmark, and we are eager to uncover more hidden gems in the years to come.

“Thank you to everyone involved for making this event a resounding success. Together, we are building a brighter future for the arts, and we can’t wait to see what the next year brings.”

CGA President Thea McLeod said, “The calibre of talent on display for the inaugural AACTA Young Stars was absolutely extraordinary. We are thrilled to present Mia Foran as the winner of the 2024 AACTA Young Stars and wish her the best in her promising career in the entertainment industry. We would also like to congratulate all the applicants for their terrific work. There was such an abundance of young talent which made the selection process an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much to Casting Networks, AACTA and the rest of the judges for helping make this incredible initiative possible for all the young actors across Australia. On behalf of the CGA we are so proud to have helped make the AACTA Young Stars come to life”

For more information regarding AACTA Young Stars National Youth Casting Call, click here.


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