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Filson Ali wants to find the big stars of the future

Filson Ali from Växjö highlights young people's thoughts on love, culture, identity and class through various television productions. She is currently responsible for casting for the SVT series Festen.
– It was very nice and I'm very proud, she says.
Växjö • Publicerad 30 mars 2020
Foto: Daniel Bezares

Filson Ali, who grew up in Araby in Växjö, is among other things behind the youth series PLAY & REWIND, which is recorded in several places in Sweden with young people participating. This spring, she is also currently in charge of casting for the second season of the youth series Festen.

The series is about a number of young people's lives with intrigues, friendships and secrets mixed with love, betrayal and dramatic settlements. It is a fictional story, but it is based on numerous interviews and research with young people. The events and themes in the series are described as being close to many young people's realities.


– I was contacted by project manager Sanne Övermark after a recommendation. I have cast similar projects before here in Sweden but also in the USA.

Filson Ali is currently maternity leave with her daughter and is currently writing a feature film with a dramaturge. At the same time, she is preparing for the premiere of the upcoming PLAY & REWIND youth series.

What are you looking for as a casting manager?

– You are looking for a person who can take on the given character. The director usually has a clear picture of how the character is to be portrayed and then it is the role of a casting director to find the right actor together with the director. It is a process that is very close to the director and producer. The best part is to be part of the team that together anchors, concertizes and develops a vision.

All the main roles in Festen are played by young actors who are previously unknown to the viewers. Thanks to the series, they get to start their acting careers.

– Discovering new talent requires a great deal of teamwork. I also took the baton from Cat Kobb and Sophie Malmegård who had done a great deal of pre-casting in the first season together with project manager Sanne Övermark and director Maria Thörnqvist where they had been very active in the search. I know, for example, that it was cast at the Malmö festival. A big part I got to do was cast to the character Dessi because the actor, who played Dessi in the first season, chose to quit because of private reasons. It was very demanding but after a good tip I managed to cast the role. First and foremost, I look at it professionally, to find the actor who fits the role best. Then it's a fun bonus if they also become stars.

What should you as a young actor think about?

– Come well-prepared, be present in front of the camera, be responsive to directing and ask rather too much than not at all. And don't forget to relax and have fun. Acting is a fantastic craft and requires a lot of training as you work with your body and yourself to bring life to a character. A big important trick is to be empathetic. Then you can get into the character, how it is, think, do and act. You should see the world from the character's perspective.

Are you happy with Festen?

– Yes absolutely. The series has been unbelievably lifted on many fronts since the first season, not just the actors but the entire production in general. It got really nice and I am very proud.

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Så här jobbar Mosaik Vxonews med journalistik. Uppgifter som publiceras ska vara korrekta och relevanta. Vi strävar efter förstahandskällor och att vara på plats där det händer. Trovärdighet och opartiskhet är centrala värden för vår nyhetsjournalistik.