Meet The Rising Star Behind The December 2023 Issue Of FilmCentral Magazine: Kian Kavousi

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In the realm of the entertainment industry, Kian Kavousi emerges as a luminary, showcasing profound skill and versatility that has etched an illustrious path. His enduring impact on the small screen, silver screen, and theatre stages has left an indelible mark, garnering recognition and acclaim.

Foremost among Kavousi’s achievements is his standout portrayal in the renowned TV series “The Chosen,” a global hit distributed by Lionsgate and accessible on platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NBC’s Peacock, and the CW Network. Critics and viewers alike have lauded his compelling performance in this celebrated series.

Venturing beyond television, Kian Kavousi has graced feature films, earning acclaim at prestigious film festivals globally. Notable projects, including “1st Born,” “The Big Apple,” “Sarah Is Not Her Name,” “Miles,” and “The Last Chance,” showcase his diverse range and talent, infusing depth and authenticity into every character.

Kian Kavousi’s journey in the acting realm was shaped by dedicated training and mentorship from industry luminaries such as Larry Moss, Kristof Konrad, Jean-Louis Rodrigue, and Vincent D’Onofrio. This guidance refined his craft, endowing him with wisdom and technique that paved the way for success.

Beyond the screen, Kavousi’s artistry has graced Off-Broadway stages in productions like “The Defendant Maurice Chevalier” and “Professionals.” His captivating stage presence and unwavering commitment to characters showcase his adaptability and depth as an actor.

With an impressive body of work and an unwavering commitment to continual growth, Kian Kavousi’s future in the entertainment industry appears promising and vibrant. His dedication to his craft, coupled with powerful performances, solidifies his position as a distinguished actor both on screen and on stage.

A recent conversation with FilmCentral magazine delved into Kian’s industry journey, providing insights into his artistry and the path that lies ahead.

Your role in “The Chosen” has received widespread acclaim. Can you share some insights into your experience working on such a globally recognized TV series and the impact it has had on your career?

Working on “The Chosen” has been an incredible honor and one of the highlights of my career so far. As an actor, you always dream of being part of a production that reaches viewers globally on a massive scale. You are not aware of that fact at the beginning until you start seeing people recognizing you or reaching out to you. Many use you as an inspiration in their artworks or edit your scenes together in video clips while industry people contact you for upcoming projects. That’s when I first realized the impact of it all, and I knew things wouldn’t be the same anymore. Seeing so many supporters and fans around the globe fuels my motivation to deliver my best work. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate to work with many talented directors, but Dallas Jenkins stands out for his visionary approach and ability to get the best from his actors. Being on set with Dallas, the experience is electric. He encourages us and gives us the freedom to take risks and explore the depths of each scene, asking thoughtful questions that reveal new dimensions. But what really stunned me was that through his vivid descriptions, he instantly transports you into the emotional space needed for the performance. All doubts were eliminated, and you end up organically creating a character on the spot that feels grounded and authentic but safe enough to go beyond and try different approaches. Dallas has this gift for articulating his creative vision so clearly that you intrinsically understand what needs to be done. He draws out nuanced performances from all of us. Combining his guidance with our own preparation, we, as the cast, have been able to create magical moments on camera. The actors and directors with whom you share a significant amount of time become unforgettable moments. You receive support, and you give support. You become a family, and you grow together. The series has been professionally and personally gratifying, and I’m very thankful for this opportunity that pushes me to be my best. It has profoundly shaped my career trajectory, and I will carry these invaluable experiences forward.

Photo Credit – The Chosen

You’ve been part of both TV series and feature films. How do you approach your acting differently in these two mediums?

Acting for film and television share many similarities and core techniques, yet the mediums have distinct differences and approaches that you have to adapt to. In film, I often join the production with a fully envisioned character already crafted by the director and writers. This requires intense preparation beforehand to internalize their vision while still leaving space for changes. Once I receive the schedule, I map out the character’s arc and storyline over the course of the shooting days. Filming is usually concentrated into weeks or months. In TV, your character has the opportunity to develop and grow over the course of multiple seasons. I still come in absolutely prepared, but the process is more dynamic since I have inhabited this persona for months or years. You get the chance to return and revisit a character, experience something new, and peel back layers as their journey evolves from episode to episode. While film provides a concentrated storyline, television allows for subplots and development. I find the key is staying open to both, whether playing a character for months on a series or weeks on a film. Both mediums produce outstanding content. There is a lot of great material out there. I feel fortunate to work in both formats and appreciate what each uniquely brings out in me as an actor. The differences keep me sharp and creative. I enjoy both as I love the challenge of bridging a character from script to screen.

Your training includes working with renowned coaches like Larry Moss and Vincent D’Onofrio. How have these experiences shaped your approach to acting, and what lessons have you carried from these mentors into your roles?

I’ve had the incredible privilege to study under some of the best acting coaches in the industry. Their wisdom and techniques have stuck with me and profoundly impacted my work, and I apply their fundamental teachings to every role I play whenever possible. Working with Vincent was extraordinary. I witnessed firsthand his brilliant character transformations and camera technique. He taught me the art of finding those subtle nuances for camera work and constantly adjusting the performance through layers and subtext. Making it seem effortless actually required meticulous craft and a lot of practice, analysis, and sleepless nights. Every time we wrapped filming and reviewed footage, it was as if night turned into day – it was acting at the highest level. Larry Moss expanded my mind with his vast knowledge. I could listen to him for hours and still only absorb a fraction of what he imparted. He taught me how to fully inhabit the mindset of a character and keep the audience invested. We spent intensive sessions breaking down scripts, tweaking performances, and learning to avoid traps. He went with you to the furthest reaches, where things suddenly dawned on you. His insights brought my acting to entirely new and creative heights. I have to hand it to the coaches Kristof Konrad and Jean-Louis Rodrigue – they really drilled character work and technical skills into me that are so crucial. We worked extensively on using the body, voice, and breath as instruments. Breaking old habits while adopting new and specific ones. Never showing up unprepared, yet remaining flexible. I learned how to build a character properly from the ground up and hone the techniques to bring a role to life. I’m sincerely grateful because I owe so much to these masters. Each intensive workshop demanded my complete dedication and best work. Thanks to them, I am where I am in my career, trying to deliver the most genuine performances I can every time.

In addition to “The Chosen,” you’ve been involved in various film projects like “The Last Chance” and “The Big Apple.” What drew you to these projects, and do you actively seek out diverse roles in your career?

When I was starting out, I jumped at every role that came my way. I tried to be cast in a theater play, a commercial, or a film and TV because I needed the experience and exposure. But as I grew, I became more strategic. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed, but instead, I constantly developed my skills and took on increasingly complex roles. When cast in projects, I think about how to bring my full range of training and life experience to the table. I like to explore new roles that will push me creatively into unfamiliar territory. The more uncomfortable, the better – those roles force me to tackle new challenges. What drew me to all the projects were the multidimensional characters. The uniqueness of the characters and their psychology and physiology interest me. I’m not picky about roles and try to find parts that will stretch my acting chops. This pursuit keeps me engaged and motivated to deliver authentic performances on screen. My goal is to avoid stagnation. I want to carry audiences along as I continue growing as an actor. I remind myself why I started this journey in the first place and try to find ways to play in the league of those actors I admire.

Photo Credit – Halima H

Your performances have been featured in film festivals globally. How does it feel to have your work recognized on such a broad scale, and what do you believe sets your performance apart from others in the industry?

Being featured in film festivals around the world is incredibly humbling. It’s heartening to know my work resonates on such a broad scale. But the truth is, those moments always catch me by surprise. You try to fulfill the director’s vision and story needs when developing a character. Even when a performance feels strong, as actors, we are often self-critical, doubt our choices, and are never completely sure. So nominations or awards are always an unexpected honor that tells me I must be doing something right and motivates me to keep growing. I don’t think it sets me apart, as there are so many remarkably gifted performers in this industry that I learn from all the time. Watching their work pushes me to refine and expand my creative toolbox continuously. Awards aren’t the main reason actors perform, but it is tremendously moving to celebrate your work as it provides new opportunities. The true reward that emerges is the privilege of collaborating with incredible filmmakers to tell universal stories that impact viewers and resonate across borders, cultures, and experiences. If I can bring honesty to a character and move audiences emotionally or in any other way, that is already a profoundly fulfilling creative accomplishment. Though it’s certainly wonderful when a performance you poured your soul into gets recognized far and wide.

Tell us about your experience performing in Off-Broadway productions such as “The Defendant Maurice Chevalier” and “Professionals.” How does live theater compare to working on film or TV sets, and do you have a preference between stage and screen acting?

Performing in Off-Broadway productions like “The Defendant Maurice Chevalier” and “Professionals,” among many others, provided invaluable stage experience. The weeks of intense rehearsals leading up to opening night and the live performances show after show in front of hundreds of audience members were exhilarating. Once the curtains are up, it is only you and your preparation on stage. Compared to film and TV, you have weeks of rehearsals to experiment and refine details. There are no second takes in theatre – it’s live for all to see. There are no cuts and no post-production for any edits. In “The Defendant Maurice Chevalier,” I portrayed two opposite characters – it was a challenge not to play any stereotypes or cliches to show how different they were. I had to embody each character’s distinct psychology and physicalities fully. Precise blocking then ensured seamless transitions between roles. I required vocal training to find ways of projecting to the back rows without straining my voice for the following performances and stage combat training to avoid injuries on one side and deliver the emotional impact it needed to convey. With “Professionals,” I learned to handle technical stage elements – hitting light cues, quickly changing costumes, and sustaining focus and energy during set changes and throughout the entire production. It demanded specific flexibility and preparation to handle anything that came my way. It is interesting to observe how performances can evolve or change over the run, and you never know how a show will turn out – feeling great could mean it wasn’t great at all, and thinking that it was the worst night could turn out to have been one of the most brilliant and refreshing performances. Both mediums stretch me in different ways. While I would rather lean more toward film and television, it is inevitable and absolutely vital to participate in theater productions as often as possible. You create the stamina and acting chops necessary to build proper character work, and the thrill of live performing and constantly improving a role is tough to beat.

Given the diverse range of projects you’ve been involved in, how do you approach selecting roles? What criteria do you consider when deciding to take on a new acting opportunity?

When considering roles, authenticity is key. I always try to do something new and seek compelling characters or interesting collaborations with other filmmakers. I am very open to different opportunities, and I enjoy exploring people and their psychology to understand what motivates them to behave the way they do. How they feel, talk, walk, and express themselves, and then find ways to bring them to life through myself. Researching characters and discovering what you have in common with them and what makes them different is absolutely exciting. You gain perspective and realize the complexities of the human mind and behavior. People share a lot of psychological traits, desires, and tendencies, such as the need for social connection, the pursuit of happiness, or the capacity to feel any emotions at all. However, there are also significant other differences among people. These differences usually come from a combination of unique genetic factors, personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, and environmental influences, among many other factors. While humans are alike in some ways, they are also quite diverse in other aspects. I can feel much more comfortable portraying characters when I come from a place of understanding them and showing empathy. Sometimes, it’s easier and more relatable, but in other instances, you may have to delve deep and never truly relate. Nevertheless, playing these roles and tackling the challenges is always exciting.

Photo Credit – Angie Kremer Photography

”The Chosen” is available on various streaming platforms. How do you think the accessibility of content on platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime has influenced the entertainment industry, especially for actors and creators?

The rise of streaming platforms has transformed the entertainment industry. They provide many new and fantastic opportunities but also some challenges for actors and creators. Compared to the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s pre-streaming era, the current landscape offers actors access to vastly more projects and roles. More original series and films are being produced. This allows actors to showcase their talents in different genres and potentially gain worldwide exposure by having their work seen globally. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, and others are prestigious platforms where their original shows earn critical acclaim and award recognition. Starring in a Netflix series, Apple TV+, or Amazon Production can elevate an actor’s reputation and chances for future work. This is also true for creators, who now have outlets willing to take risks on new or unconventional ideas and stories that may not have been greenlit before. You can say that there is much more creative freedom. However, a possible downside could be that the content quality might suffer slightly, with many new titles being added regularly because of the quantity. The volume of projects could also mean that actors may get typecast because of the tight scheduling and casting time available. And while streaming provides a global stage, the focus on digital distribution has minimized theatrical releases for some films. But overall, these are exciting times full of new and wonderful opportunities and possibilities that open new doors.

Are there any upcoming projects or roles that you are particularly excited about or that you think will challenge you as an actor in new ways?

I’m thrilled to have very exciting projects on the horizon that will provide new acting challenges. While I can’t discuss details just yet, a few roles are coming up that will stretch my abilities in new directions. I cannot wait to unpack, explore them, and break out of my comfort zone again.

Aspiring actors often look up to successful individuals like yourself. What advice would you give to those who are just starting their journey in the entertainment industry, especially in terms of training and navigating the audition process?

When starting out, the focus should be on a lot of training and practice. One challenge is the extensive preparation required beforehand. This includes a thorough script analysis and gathering all necessary information about a character, including the emotional state, motivations, intentions, needs, fears, flaws, and many more, all without passing judgment. Then, integrate these elements into the character, avoid playing cliches or stereotypes, and instead find unique traits. The next level would be listening and reacting to your acting partners and incorporating their performances in a scene while staying true to your character and being able to adjust. Finding coaches, mentors, and suitable classes and workshops would be very helpful for polishing these skills. You want to try to avoid acting only when auditions are coming in because then you are never really ready and end up winging it somehow. What I used to do was, when there weren’t any auditions, I would find audition sides of projects that had already been cast and filmed. I would then prepare those sides for a mock audition and sometimes even compare my performance to the actual casting. This became like a muscle memory exercise, and I was able to carry different characters with me in my back pocket. In addition, there are technical aspects to consider, especially for auditions. It is essential to adapt to a project’s genre, style, and tone. Knowing your lines inside out allows you to be free and fresh in your performance. Also, facing rejections is normal and necessary for growth. Allowing yourself to fail is part of the process. So are taking risks and getting up again when things don’t work out; don’t get discouraged. And if you are not in class, on stage, or in front of the camera, the few minutes in the audition room are the ultimate opportunity to act.

Unveiling the Enchantment: Dive into the Magical World of ‘IF’ with Exclusive Sneak Peek Trailer and Behind-the-Scenes Featurette!

Embark on an enchanting journey into the extraordinary realm of “IF,” a creation of the brilliant mind of John Krasinski.

Uncover the enchantment behind the making of “IF” as you delve into the captivating world of imaginary friends with Ryan Reynolds and the multi-talented John Krasinski.


In this whimsical tale brought to life by writer and director John Krasinski, “IF” introduces us to a young girl who discovers her unique ability to see everyone’s imaginary friends. Follow her magical adventure as she sets out on a heartwarming quest to reconnect forgotten IFs with their cherished kids. The stellar cast includes Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, and the voices of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., and Steve Carell, among others, portraying wonderfully unique characters that mirror the boundless power of a child’s imagination.


John J. Kelly, George Dewey


Allyson Seeger, Andrew Form, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski


John Krasinski


Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinski, Cailey Fleming, Fiona Shaw, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louis Gossett Jr., Alan Kim, Liza Colón-Zayas, and Steve Carell

Immerse yourself in the magic, laughter, and heartwarming moments brought to life by this exceptional cast and crew. Experience the power of imagination like never before in “IF.”

Don’t miss the teaser trailer and featurette – they are available now for an exclusive sneak peek into the whimsical world that awaits!

Terrifying Trailer Unveiled for Supernatural Thriller “Baghead”

Brace yourselves for a spine-chilling cinematic experience as the trailer for the much-anticipated supernatural thriller, “Baghead,” has been unleashed upon eager audiences. Directed by Alberto Corredor and featuring an ensemble cast including Freya Allan, Ruby Barker, Jeremy Irvine, Ned Dennehy, Saffron Burrows, and Peter Mullan, the film promises a descent into a world where the boundary between the living and the dead is blurred.

Synopsis: In the aftermath of her estranged father’s demise, Iris (Freya Allan) inherits a dilapidated, centuries-old pub. Her journey takes her to Berlin to identify her father’s body and engage with The Solicitor (Ned Dennehy) to discuss the estate. Unbeknownst to her, signing the deed binds her to an unspeakable entity residing in the pub’s basement – Baghead. This shape-shifting creature can transform into the deceased, offering a grim bargain: two thousand in cash for two minutes with the creature, providing solace for grieving loved ones. Iris, tempted by the creature’s powers, contemplates exploiting its abilities for a price. However, breaking the two-minute rule unravels terrifying consequences, forcing Iris and her best friend Katie (Ruby Barker) into a battle to maintain control of Baghead before it consumes them.

Release Date: In Cinemas 2024


  • Freya Allan
  • Ruby Barker
  • Jeremy Irvine
  • Ned Dennehy
  • Saffron Burrows
  • Peter Mullan

Directed By: Alberto Corredor

Written By: Christina Pamies, Bryce McGuire, Lorcan Reilly

Produced By: Alex Heineman, Andrew Rona, Roy Lee

About “Baghead”: “Baghead” is a supernatural thriller that explores the thin veil between the living and the dead. Directed by Alberto Corredor and featuring a stellar cast, the film delves into the consequences of tempting fate and the eerie powers of the mysterious Baghead. As Iris and her friend Katie grapple with the malevolent force, the film takes audiences on a suspenseful journey into the supernatural realm.

Prepare for a hair-raising experience as “Baghead” unfolds its dark tale in cinemas in 2024.

2023 CGA Award Winners Announced

The Casting Guild of Australia celebrated its 9th annual CGA Awards on Friday evening at a ceremony at Establishment Hotel, Sydney hosted by Julia Zemiro and Genevieve Hegney.

Leading the 2023 CGA Awards was Danny Long, who took home three awards at the ceremony; her work in Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge earned her the award for ‘Best Casting in a Short Film’, alongside ‘Best Casting in a TVC – Community’ for Qantas It Feels Like Home Again and for ‘Achievement in Casting’ for Latecomers.

Anousha Zarkesh picked up the award for ‘Best Casting in a Feature Film’ for the second year in a row for her work on Shayda.

The casting team behind Shantaram, Alison Telford, Kate Leonard, Kate Dowd (UK Casting) and Nikki Barrett (Original Casting), scooped up the award for ‘Best Casting in a TV Drama’, with Kirsty McGregor and Stevie Ray taking out ‘Best Casting in a TV Comedy’ for Colin From Accounts.

Nathan Lloyd won ‘Best Casting in a Telemovie/Miniseries’ for Safe Home while newcomer Rhys Velasquez took out the award for ‘Best Casting in a Theatre Production’ for their work on Choir Boy.

First-time winner Faith Martin took home ‘Achievement in Casting’ for her work on Barrumbi Kids and Natalie Jane Harvie secured the top prize in ‘Best Casting in a TVC’ for the Telstra ‘This is Footy Country’ campaign.

The CGA also officially crowned Australia’s top emerging talent of 2023, highlighting twelve extraordinary actors with the potential to break out on the world stage.

This year’s CGA Rising Stars include Ben Turland (Riptide, Neighbours), Bernie van Tiel (Class of ’07, Blaze), Carlos Sanson Jr (Sweet As, Bump), Costa D’Angelo (Crazy Fun Park, Wog Boys), Emma Harvie (Colin From Accounts, In Limbo), Kartanya Maynard (Deadloch, The Messenger), Natalie Abbott (Aftertaste, A Perfect Pairing), Nathalie Morris (Bump, Petrol), Perry Mooney (Gold Diggers, Romance on the Menu), Raj Labade (Appetite, The Office Australia), William Lodder (Love Me S2, Bali 2002), and William McKenna (The Messenger, Queen of Oz).

The CGA Awards is the only casting awards ceremony in the southern hemisphere that celebrates and recognises casting across all mediums including film, television, advertising, theatre and online content. The annual Awards Ceremony seeks to acknowledge and support the critical role casting directors play in bringing together great casting opportunities both on a national and international stage.

‘MEAN GIRLS’ Is Back With A Fresh Spin And An Awesome Cast!

In the dynamic realm of high school dynamics, the eagerly awaited film “MEAN GIRLS,” a brainchild of Tina Fey’s creative genius, offers a contemporary twist to the cherished modern classic. The official trailer, teaser poster, and a glimpse into 10 captivating images unveil a stellar cast, featuring Angourie Rice as Cady Heron, Auli’i Cravalho as Janis ‘Imi’ike, Reneé Rapp as Regina George, Jaquel Spivey as Damian Hubbard, Avantika as Karen Shetty, Bebe Wood as Gretchen Wieners, Christopher Briney as Aaron Samuels, Jenna Fischer as Ms. Heron, Busy Philipps as Mrs. George, Ashley Park as Madame Park, Tina Fey as Ms. Norbury, and Tim Meadows as Mr. Duvall, among others.

The storyline follows Cady Heron, portrayed by Angourie Rice, as she steps into the intricate world of high school social dynamics. Embraced by the coveted group known as “The Plastics,” led by the cunning Regina George (Reneé Rapp) and her loyal companions Gretchen (Bebe Wood) and Karen (Avantika), Cady’s journey takes an unexpected turn when she becomes entangled with Regina’s ex-boyfriend, Aaron Samuels (Christopher Briney). This romantic misstep propels Cady into the crosshairs of Regina’s schemes.

Guided by her outcast allies Janis (Auli’i Cravalho) and Damian (Jaquel Spivey), Cady maneuvers the complexities of high school life, aiming to dismantle the apex predator that is Regina George. The narrative captures the essence of staying true to oneself in the challenging jungle of high school.

“MEAN GIRLS,” presented by Paramount Pictures and produced by Broadway Video/Little Stranger Production, is executive produced by Jeff Richmond, Nell Benjamin, Eric Gurian, Erin David, and Pamela Thur. Producers Lorne Michaels and Tina Fey, with Tina Fey contributing the book, Jeff Richmond providing the music, and Nell Benjamin crafting the lyrics, lead the creative team. Based on the stage musical “MEAN GIRLS,” Tina Fey pens the screenplay, while the film is directed by Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez Jr.

With a stellar cast, including talents like Angourie Rice, Auli’i Cravalho, Reneé Rapp, Jaquel Spivey, Avantika, Bebe Wood, Christopher Briney, Jenna Fischer, Busy Philipps, Tina Fey, with Tim Meadows, the film promises to breathe new life into this reimagined classic on the big screen. Brace yourself for the captivating world of “MEAN GIRLS” as it unfolds its laughter, drama, and timeless lessons in the hallways of high school.

Local Star Kya Stewart Takes the Stage in the Thrilling Fourth Season of World Monologue Games!

Once again, the global stage illuminates the realm of acting as World Monologue Games, the preeminent event of its kind, returns triumphantly for its highly anticipated fourth season. Among the outstanding talents selected for this year’s Regional Finals is Sydney’s own gifted actor, Kya Stewart, adding a local flair to this international showcase that brings together the finest performers from over 100 countries.

Unfazed by the industry disruptions, Kya courageously submitted an entry to the prestigious World Monologue Games, often dubbed the Olympics for Actors by the media. This spirited competition, spanning six distinct categories, sees thousands of international performers vying for a coveted spot on the podium.

Kya’s excitement upon being selected for the esteemed event’s Regional Finals is palpable. “Participating in this year’s World Monologue Games fills me with incredible excitement,” says Kya. “As I represent Australia, I’m joining a league of remarkable performers from around the world. The anticipation for my upcoming performance is electric.”

Initiated in 2020 by the visionary Australian producer Pete Malicki, World Monologue Games continues to grow from strength to strength. Looking ahead to this fourth season, Malicki says, “The calibre of submissions has soared, with judges noting a marked rise in quality. I’m eagerly awaiting the showcase of talents that the finest actors from numerous countries will bring to this year’s Games.”

Kya will be performing a captivating monologue about a distinct and touching personal memory she shares with her late Grandmother. Reflecting on the experience, Kya added, “I’m so excited to represent Australia in the games and to share a simple, yet meaningful, monologue about the power of love, human connection, and the way it shapes our lives”.

Tune in to the live stream of the Regional Finals where performers will compete for both cash prizes and the honour of gracing the podium at the Global Finals in November. Don’t miss the chance to be part of this unparalleled event:

Production Commences on ‘The Sloth Lane’: A Heartwarming Addition to the Tales From Sanctuary City Franchise

In a groundbreaking partnership, Like A Photon Creative, alongside Sola Media, proudly announces the initiation of production for ‘The Sloth Lane.’ This delightful addition to the beloved Tales From Sanctuary City franchise unfolds a touching narrative of self-discovery, family bonds, and enduring friendships.

As an Australian and female-owned production house, Like a Photon Creative takes the helm in bringing this animated gem to life, while Sola Media secures its distribution, having recently acquired international rights for the next trio of animated features within the Sanctuary City franchise.

The film boasts a dynamic cast of stellar talents, blending Australian and international flair. Leslie Jones, the renowned stand-up comedian (known for Ghostbusters, The Angry Birds Movie 2, and Sing), lends her voice to Dotti Pace, a clever and ambitious cheetah. Teo Vergara embodies the excitable and energetic sloth, Laura, while Olivia Vásquez voices Gabby, Laura’s mother. Ben Gorroño brings Luis, the big lovable sloth, to life, and Facundo Herrera gives voice to Mani, the ‘most sloth’ of the family. Remy Hii takes on the role of Platy, the Platypus technician, and Matteo Romaniuk voices Arlo, a short-beaked Kiwi with boundless optimism.

Sola Media will showcase initial materials to international buyers at the AFM, expressing anticipation for the audience to meet the adorable family of sloths. Solveig Langeland, Managing Director of Sola Media, remarks, “Their journey to the fast-paced world of Sanctuary City with their slow food truck entertains with humor, emotions, and a timely message. We are expecting international buyers to move fast on our slow sloths.”

Synopsis of ‘The Sloth Lane’:

“The Sloth Lane” unfolds the story of Laura, a swift 12-year-old sloth, and her uniquely odd sloth family, left devastated by a storm that destroys their family restaurant and only home. Forced to embark on a journey with their rickety old food truck, the family heads to Sanctuary City.

Armed with generations-perfected family recipes, their food truck becomes a huge success, catching the attention of the snappy entrepreneur, Dotti Pace. Deceived into giving up their secret recipes, this tight-knit family of sloths must defy the odds to reclaim their beloved recipe book.

Combining heartwarming coming-of-age elements with an action-packed thriller, ‘The Sloth Lane’ urges its audience to savor life’s delicious, funny, and wonderful moments.

Through intricate handcrafted 3D art, the captivating story of Laura and her family is poised to enchant audiences globally.

Produced by Kristen Souvlis, Nadine Bates, and Ryan Greaves, and directed by Tania Vincent & Ricard Cussó, the film is supported by Screen Queensland’s PDV funding and financier Alceon Entertainment.

Media Release sent by Lily Maxwell of Feature Communications

Introducing Kian Kavousi: Illuminating the Silver Screen and Theater Stages with Artistry

Photo Credit: Halima H

Kian Kavousi, an actor of profound skill and versatility, has carved an illustrious path through the entertainment industry, leaving a lasting mark with his performances on the small screen, silver screen, and theater stages.

Kavousi’s standout portrayal in the celebrated TV series “The Chosen” has earned him widespread recognition. The series, distributed by Lionsgate, is a global hit, accessible on various streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, NBC’s Peacock, and the CW Network. His compelling performance in this series has been lauded by critics and viewers alike.

Beyond his TV success, Kian Kavousi has graced feature films and various projects that have garnered acclaim at prestigious film festivals worldwide. His impactful roles in movies such as “1st Born,” “The Big Apple,” “Sarah Is Not Her Name,” “Miles,” and “The Last Chance” demonstrate his diverse range and talent. Each portrayal brings depth and authenticity to the characters he embodies.

Kian Kavousi’s journey in the acting world was honed through dedicated training and mentorship. Under the guidance of industry luminaries like Larry Moss, Kristof Konrad, Jean-Louis Rodrigue, and Vincent D’Onofrio, he refined his craft, imbibing wisdom and technique that set him on a trajectory toward success.

His artistry extends beyond the screen, shining on Off-Broadway stages in diverse productions like “The Defendant Maurice Chevalier” and “Professionals.” His stage presence and commitment to the characters he portrays captivate audiences, displaying his adaptability and depth as an actor.

With an impressive body of work behind him and a commitment to ongoing growth and development, Kian Kavousi’s future in the entertainment industry seems promising and vibrant. His dedication to his artistry, coupled with an array of powerful performances, has solidified his position as a distinguished actor, both on screen and on stage.

FilmCentral magazine recently engaged with Kian to delve into his industry journey, and here’s a recap of the conversation:

Can you tell us more about yourself?

I grew up in Germany. When I was not in school or with my friends, I spent most of my time playing the piano or sports. My mother always insisted that I see the world, so every vacation she had, she took me with her to different destinations all over the world. Sometimes, I felt uncertain about how to handle all the new impressions because they were so new to me, but they always ended up shaping me and proving useful for my future profession. After graduation, I spent a year volunteering at an institution for the elderly and children in upstate New York. Later, when I finished my Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation and Translation Studies in Germany, I pursued a Master of Science in International Relations and Politics in England. However, I somehow always ended up acting, whether it was in school plays or putting on shows with the money I had saved over the summer. I used my friends in short clips and films we made, imitating game shows and creating music videos with cameras that could only record for about 15 minutes. Years later, it eventually led to Off-Broadway shows in Manhattan and film projects in Los Angeles. There were a lot of signs and indications that this was what I should do. I decided to go all in and moved to New York. It was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make, but at the same time, one of the easiest. And now I’m here having a conversation with you.

How did you get started in the entertainment industry?

Through the infamous New York snowstorms, I went out to countless auditions. I booked a film here and a commercial there, but I noticed the lack of exposure to industry professionals. I knew I had to open up to different ways of getting on the radar of casting directors and securing representation. Some friends of mine who are writers regularly invited me to table reads. We put our heads together and came up with potential self-written plays to perform. We rented theater spaces and continued to invite professionals to see all our different shows while I pursued auditions on the side. Eventually, some investors noticed our work and believed in our potential. We had several meetings, and they decided to organize and invest in a full-budget Off-Broadway production. Tickets were sold on Broadway, and the reviews started coming in. There was a lot of pressure because we had to deliver in front of hundreds of audience members every night. The production became a success, and an agency signed me. Afterward, I was submitted to feature film productions, TV series, and projects sent to film festivals around the world, bringing home awards. Finally, all the short films, plays, and auditions combined put me on the radar.

Photo Credit: The Chosen

What do you like most about acting?

I enjoy exploring people and their psychology, to understand what motivates them to behave the way they do. How they feel, talk, walk, and express themselves, and then finding ways to bring them to life through myself. It is absolutely exciting to research characters and discover what you have in common with them and what makes them different. You gain perspective and realize the complexities of the human mind and behavior. See, while there are common psychological traits and tendencies that people share, like the pursuit of happiness, the need for social connection, and the capacity to experience emotions at all, there are also significant differences among individuals. These differences come from a combination of genetic factors, personal experiences, cultural backgrounds, and environmental influences. You can feel much more comfortable portraying characters when you come from a place of understanding them. At times, it’s easier and more relatable, but in other instances, you may have to delve deep, and you might never truly relate. Nevertheless, it’s always exciting to play these roles. The other aspect I love about acting is the environment in which you work and act. The people on the set that you see every day, whether it is the lighting or sound crew, the cameraman, makeup, hairstylists, or crafty, become memorable and fun. The cast members and directors with whom you share a significant amount of time become unforgettable moments. You receive support, and you give support. You become a family, and you grow together, even beyond the projects.

How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a TV series? And which one do you prefer?

While acting in both mediums shares similarities, there are also a lot of differences. In film, you usually have a fully developed character when you come to the set. This means it requires a lot of preparation in advance, and you discuss it with the directors to make sure it aligns with their visions as well while also leaving space for changes. You know the beginning, middle, and end of your character’s journey, and you map out the characters’ arc accordingly and throughout the shooting schedule, which usually spans between weeks to months. The shorter production time allows actors to explore a wider variety of characters for other projects. In TV, your character has the opportunity to develop and grow over the course of multiple seasons. You can return and revisit a character and experience something new. So, even though you are prepared, the actor’s process and progress are not set in stone because you play the same character over an extended period, which can lead to a more in-depth exploration as the plot progresses and unfolds over months or years. In film, you often find a concentrated storyline; in TV, you have subplots that evolve across episodes. But again, it is important to mention that it all depends on the projects because some of the best content out there is on both film and TV, and I enjoy acting in both.

Photo Credit: Angie Kremer Photography

What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

I would say uncertainty at times. Yet again, I believe this is a challenge actors generally struggle with. On set, you juggle all these aspects, including immersing yourself in your character’s world and physicality, while also managing technicalities like blocking, hitting marks, and adjusting to camera frames. It can be busy on set, and the pace can be fast, and there is not often time for immediate feedback or approval of your work. So in order to bypass uncertainty and bring my best performance to the table, I work with professional coaches. We focus on different areas, such as character development for consistency throughout filming, and work on voice and accents for proper authenticity. We analyze the scripts and explore different techniques to find the physicality. I try all approaches, whether I work from the inside out or from the outside in. However, I collaborate with coaches to avoid limiting myself and to expand my character range as well as my emotional range.

What are your strong points as an actor?

It is always difficult to evaluate yourself, but I would say that I feel comfortable with creating the characters I play. I prioritize understanding their internal psychology and their external physicality. I approach my characters with empathy and avoid preconceptions and judgments. I also thoroughly analyze scripts and quickly memorize them while staying open to continuously learning more and what is required for the role. I like to be so well prepared that I feel comfortable and at ease to adjust to any directions or changes. It is like a muscle that grows stronger with practice. The more you do it, the better you become.

What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

Over the years, I have had the privilege to work with some great directors – visionaries who possess the ability to convey and communicate their creative ideas with such precision that they are crystal clear to the actor, and you know exactly what to do. Among them is Dallas Jenkins, the celebrated director of the global hit series The Chosen. Working on set with him for the show is an experience out of this world. We know that actors have to be flexible enough to find more than just one or two ways of approaching a performance. Dallas, however, encourages his actors to explore multiple dimensions of a character; together, you end up creating an entirely new personality on the spot. He asks the right questions and provides vivid descriptions that instantly transport you to the exact emotional environment you need to be in for the scenes. He knows how to bring out the best performance from you. With his guidance and our own preparation, the cast members and I have been able to create magical moments. Director Satrajit Sen gave me the freedom to improvise. He recognized that within the given circumstances, this was the way to find my character’s authenticity. Ali Atshani said, “You listened the right way, so you knew how to answer the right way.” I can say that I have learned valuable lessons from many directors, and I carry each experience with me and use them in other projects.

Photo Credit: Angie Kremer Photography

What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

I think there are many factors to consider, and the experiences differ from person to person. Some actors don’t like auditions; they feel blocked or uncomfortable, which can affect their performance. They are not sure how to give their best or how to handle rejections. Sometimes, you find yourself with little time to prepare. Other times, you invest long hours in preparation and travel miles and distances to wait behind closed doors in a room full of stressed people, only to be called in and rejected. However, auditioning is an inevitable but invaluable opportunity to stay sharp and continuously explore new characters. There is your chance to act, and if you deliver a good performance, you will be remembered. Also, these are all opportunities; you never know which room you are entering. Others struggle to find the right representation that aligns with their needs and try to find the proper support and guidance. On the other hand, some actors feel emotionally and physically exhausted and drained or feel that they lack control over their careers and perceive the industry as too insecure and struggling to maintain perseverance. Some actors are stuck in guest roles, while others don’t secure those parts. I believe these ups and downs in this industry are part of this profession, and everyone has to go through them at their own pace. On top of that, both aspects have to be taken care of as an actor, the acting part as well as the business part.

What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

Well, that’s a great question, and it brings a lot of answers to it. One challenge is the extensive preparation required before even stepping into a character’s shoes. This includes a thorough script analysis and the gathering of all necessary information about the character, including their psyche, motivations, fears, and flaws, all without passing judgment. You have to understand intentions, subtext, needs, transitions, your character’s emotional state, and much more. Once you have laid the foundation, the next challenge is integrating these elements into the character. You should avoid playing cliches or stereotypes and instead find unique traits and physicality. In addition, there are technical aspects to consider, such as adapting to the genre, style, and tone of the project and knowing your lines inside out to be free and fresh in your performance. Another significant challenge is listening and reacting to your acting partners in a scene while staying true to your character and incorporating their performances. The list of challenges can be quite long, and it continuously varies from one project to the next.

What do you do when you’re not filming?

Honestly, I love adventures; that’s what truly excites me. I like traveling to new places, trying out new cuisines, meeting new people, exploring new things, and being together with my family and friends, which brings me joy. In my free time, I like to play sports like soccer and basketball, as well as go to the gym. I also enjoy playing the piano, reading, and sometimes dancing.

Photo Credit: Halima H

What has been the most memorable experience of your career so far?

That is probably the hardest question. I have so many memorable experiences and moments that I am grateful for, and they have all been very exciting. If I had to pick one off the top of my head, I would say the audition for the TV series The Chosen. I was going home from a late shoot when my manager called me and said that another audition had come in and that they had requested a tape due the next day. The only problem was that my camera had broken a couple of days earlier, and I also couldn’t find a reader on short notice that late at night. I called a friend who worked at a self-taping service and asked if I could Schedule a one-hour taping session in the morning. He was kind enough to agree and reserve a spot. I opened the sides and found three scenes and 13 pages of script. I pulled an all-nighter and prepared everything. The following day, I rushed to the studio. To my surprise, my friend told me there had been a mix-up in the booking, but if I waited another hour, he could skip his break and give me a 10-minute window for taping. Having only ten minutes for a 13-page script meant I had one try to record all scenes in one single take, and it had to be done quickly. After the taping, we sent the material, and for the next three months, I heard nothing from them. Then, out of the blue, I received a call that the director and casting director wanted to see me. I drove over and noticed I was the only one in the waiting room. The sign-in sheet said one actor per hour. Sitting there, I could hear them playing the entire audition tape. Moments later, they called me in, and we spoke a little and began the audition. They sent me out two or three times to prepare for different roles and then had me come back in. The audition lasted over 30 minutes. Two weeks later, I was packing for a trip to New York when my manager called me and asked, ‘Have you left yet?’ I said, ‘Not yet, why?’ She said, ‘You might want to change your flight to Texas.’ At that moment, I had no idea what she meant until she said, ‘They’ve cast you for the series!’

Who have been the most interesting people you’ve met so far?

In this profession, you meet a lot of people, and I’ve had the opportunity to meet many fascinating individuals. It is impossible to pick a starting point, but one who stands out is Vincent D’Onofrio. He taught me so much, and we had interesting conversations, but witnessing how he transformed into a character was extraordinary. Another encounter was with Val Kilmer. I could not believe my eyes. We were chatting, and within an instant, when the 1st AD signaled everyone, he effortlessly shifted and transformed into another person. He changed the room’s energy. What is even more stunning is that he did it differently every time, with new creative intentions. Larry Moss blew my mind with his vast knowledge. I could listen to him endlessly, knowing there was still a lot of wisdom I needed to absorb. The same goes for Al Pacino and Adam Driver. The list of people is very long, but it is fascinating how each one leaves a unique impression on you with their personality.

What are your future plans? Inside your career or out of it.

There are currently some exciting projects on the horizon that I can’t discuss in detail. Also, I could use a proper vacation to recharge again.

Dates Announced for Annual Casting Guild of Australia Awards Ceremony

The annual Casting Guild of Australia (CGA) Awards Ceremony is moving to Sydney this year, with the prestigious invite only event to be held at Establishment Hotel on Friday 24 November. Nominees for the awards are set to be announced early-November.

Launched in 2015, the CGA Awards is the only casting awards ceremony in the southern hemisphere that celebrates and recognises casting across all mediums including film, television, advertising, theatre and online content. The annual Awards Ceremony seeks to acknowledge and support the critical role casting directors play in bringing together great casting opportunities both on a national and international stage.


  • Best Casting in A Feature Film
  • Best Casting in a Short Film
  • Best Casting in a TV Comedy
  • Best Casting in a TV Drama 
  • Best Casting in a Telemovie & Miniseries
  • Achievement in Casting
  • Best Casting in a Theatre Production
  • Best Casting in a TVC – Community
  • Best Casting in a TVC

The 2023 CGA Rising Stars will also be announced early-November with recipients set to be interviewed by some of Australia’s top casting directors on CGA’s social pages in the lead up to the official presentation on November 24.

For further information about CGA visit and be sure to follow the official socials channels for the latest news and updates.

Unveiling the Excitement: Disney+ Drops Teaser Trailer for Aussie Original “The Artful Dodger”

Disney+ has just pulled back the curtain on the key art and teaser trailer for its upcoming Australian Original series, “The Artful Dodger.” Brace yourselves because this eight-episode extravaganza is all set to premiere Down Under on November 29, exclusively on Disney+.

What’s the Buzz? “The Artful Dodger” dives deep into the double life of Charles Dickens’ famed prince of thieves, Jack Dawkins, aka The Artful Dodger. Picture this: nimble pickpocketing hands transforming into the skilled hands of a surgeon. This gripping tale unfolds in the vibrant colony of Port Victory in 1850s Australia.

The Plot Twist: Dodger’s past resurfaces with the arrival of Fagin, enticing him back into the world of crime. But the real curveball comes in the form of Lady Belle, the Governor’s daughter, aspiring to become the colony’s first female surgeon. From heists to life-and-death surgeries, and the harsh realities of crime mixing with the middle ground and gentry, get ready for a narrative of reinvention, betrayal, redemption, and love with a twist.

Meet the Stars: The eight-episode series boasts a stellar cast, including Thomas Brodie-Sangster as The Artful Dodger, David Thewlis as Fagin, and Maia Mitchell as Lady Belle Fox. Joining this all-star lineup are Damon Herriman, Tim Minchin, Miranda Tapsell, Susie Porter, Damien Garvey, Kym Gyngell, Vivienne Awosoga, along with New Zealand talent Albert Latailakepa, and more.

Behind the Scenes: “The Artful Dodger” is a collaborative effort with Sony Pictures Television’s Curio Pictures and Beach Road Pictures. Created by James McNamara, David Maher & David Taylor, the show is in good hands with executive producers Jo Porter (Curio Pictures), David Maher, and David Taylor (Beach Road Pictures). The production team is completed by Jeffrey Walker as Set-Up Director and directors Corrie Chen and Gracie Otto.

A Global Treat: Hold your breath because this captivating series will also be available for streaming on Hulu in the U.S. starting November 29th.

So, mark your calendars and get ready for a rollercoaster of emotions, cunning plots, and unexpected twists with “The Artful Dodger” on Disney+. It’s an Australian original that’s bound to leave you on the edge of your seat!