Who to know to stay in the know.
Lola Doillon, daughter of director Jacques Doillon and half-sister of Lou Doillon, has directed her first movie, Et toi, t’es sur qui? (And Who Are You With?), due on French screens this month. The picture, which was selected at Un Certain Regard in Cannes, recounts the story of two 15-year-old girls determined to have their first sexual experiences one summer. Doillon, who worked on the film with her father as first assistant, already has directed a short movie, Majorettes. For her current project, Doillon found her actors in the streets, in the subway or in their schools (except for Christa Theret, who already had been noticed in Costa Gavras’ The Axe). Doillon always has been the most discreet member of her family. But with a second movie in the works, she may not stay in the shadows for very long. —Chantal Goupil
Italian actress Jasmine Trinca, 26, is already a fixture at the Cannes Film Festival. Her first appearance (while she was still in high school) was in a role in Nanni Moretti’s The Son’s Room, which won the Palm d’Or in 2001. Her second trip came in 2003, when another of her films (Marco Tullio Giordana’s The Best of Youth) snagged the Regard award. This year, she was a member of the jury awarding the Un Certain Regard prize. Trinca’s impressive résumé includes the romantic comedy Manual of Love (2004) and the critically acclaimed Criminal Novel (2005), which examined gang life in Rome from the Seventies to the Nineties. This year, the actress won the Shooting Star prize at the Berlin Film Festival and she has just finished a new movie about Italian jazz musician Luca Flores. —Francesca Vuotto
You know an actress has something when she can put on a fat suit, excruciatingly bad glasses and a mouth full of metal retainers and still manage to get the guy at the end of the series. As the geeky Lisa in the hit telenovela Verliebt in Berlin (In Love In Berlin), 31-year-old Alexandra Neldel not only made herself famous, but also scooped record viewing figures for the channel Sat.1. The series spawned a whole wave of copycat telenovelas, which, despite almost identical titles, were never quite as successful. And when the role came to an end last September, Lisa by now having gotten herself to the altar, viewing figures flagged so much that the producers dragged Neldel back on the set for guest appearances. Her next TV role will be the lead as a lawyer in her own series. Filming is due to start in June. —Damien McGuinness
Camila Pitanga, 30, a bit player on nighttime soaps since the mid-Nineties, finally got her breakthrough lead role as Bebel, an unscrupulous, ambitious prostitute on the prime-time Paraíso Tropical (Tropical Paradise), a soap about twin sisters fighting for the love of one man. Pitanga, the playmate of the man’s business rival, “is stealing the show,” wrote Patricia Kogut, columnist for Rio’s O Globo newspaper. One reason Pitanga is a showstopper: the gaudy/vibrant, deeply cleaved tops and miniskirts that cling to the curvaceous, midriff-exposed Bebel as she works the streets of Copacabana, Rio’s red-light district. “Bebel’s wardrobe doesn’t look at all like mine. She tends to be abusive in the colors she wears and the cleavage she exposes. Still, I admire her daring, which reflects her high self-esteem,” Pitanga says. —Mike Kepp
Taking inspiration from their aunt Kimora Lee, business sense from uncle Russell and good upbringing from dad Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Vanessa and Angela Simmons are on the fast track to the big time. The sisters not only star on the hit MTV reality show Run’s House with their family, but they put their heads together to launch Pastry, a candy-colored line of sneakers that hit stores in the spring. Under the Run Athletics umbrella, the footwear company owned by their dad, Vanessa, 23, a film student who just landed a role on Guiding Light, and Angela, 19, who is studying fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology, decided to launch Pastry when they could not find what they wanted in stores. Eventually, says Vanessa, they would love to get into even more product categories, like lingerie and sportswear. —Julee Greenberg