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Shaheen Baig @ Latimer Talks


Well-known casting director Shaheen Baig packed Latimer to absolute capacity with talented, up-and-coming youth actors and filmmakers at Thursday night’s Latimer Talks. The networking event gave young people the chance to get to know Shaheen, whose projects include popular films and television shows such as “Youngers, ” “Black Mirror” and many others.

For those who do not know, Latimer hosts Talks the last Thursday of every month. The event has grown considerably since the first one in February 2012.

“This helps young people and it’s such a good thing to do,” said John Akanmi, an attendee. “You get new knowledge – it’s just amazing.”

The night started out with 1-minute pitches and moved on to an informal Q&A session with Shaheen and a networking session.

“You have to project confidence, not arrogance,” said Shaheen. “You have to figure out what makes you different than all the others.”

Actors and filmmakers asked questions such as what casting directors look for in a portfolio, whether English accents are an asset and how to stand out from a crowd.

“It’s important for actors to know this stuff,” said Neli Mohamed, an aspiring actress who attended Talks. “I feel like casting directors are human now; it’s not true that they hate you!”

Aspiring filmmaker and actor Andi Jashari has networked at four Talks since he heard about Latimer in January. The highlight for him was receiving “great” feedback from Tom Harper, the director of “This is England ’86” and “Misfits.”

“I’ve been coming back ever since,” said Andi. “The people, the Latimer staff – it’s a lovely community here.”

The next Talks is a film screening on Thursday, June 27. Submit your film to sophie@latimergroup.org by June 19. Films, music videos and documentaries have to be shorter than 15 minutes.

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