MetFilm Futures Graduate Sessions: George Kreitem (BA Screen Acting)
By Elise Czyzowska
19 September 2023
Each year, we’re always excited to see a fresh group of MetFilm School graduates enter the industry – and lucky for current students, many of them return to share their experiences of starting out.
Our London students were treated to a talk from recent BA Screen Acting graduate, George Kreitem, who has secured an agent and representation since completing his studies. These Graduate Sessions are a great opportunity for students to dispel any myths or concerns about their first months in the industry, and to hear from someone who has been in their exact position.
In today’s blog, we spoke to George about his Graduate Session, including his ‘Best Actor’ win at the 2022 48 Hour Film Project, and how his mindset shapes his career ambitions…
Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m George, a Palestinian actor based in the UK. I’m signed to BBA Management in London, and managed by Nick Bernheim, who’s based in LA.
Growing up, I was always very genuine with people. This had it’s pros and cons, but overall, helped me to always find the truth – and I figured, why not try that on screen as an actor.
I spent my childhood working in theatre in the Middle East, and then supported myself financially to move to the UK and study acting. My most recent achievement is winning ‘Best Actor’ at the 48 Hour Film Project. Our film, Spur of the Moment, also won three additional awards, including ‘Best Film’ – and this was all a month before I graduated from the School!
In your Graduate Session, you spoke about finding an agent and manager within four months of graduating. What would be your top advice for this process?
This was something that had been in the works for me since I moved to the UK in 2020. It took a lot of small steps, making progress on my achievements, and using those to impress and grab the attention of people in the industry.
Even though I’ve graduated now, I still try to approach life as a student – I stay open to learning from any circumstance and experience. So, my advice would be a quote from Henry Ford: ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – You’re right!’. This sentence changed everything for me.
During our Masterclass with Casting Director Andy Brierley, his top advice was for actors to become ‘as comfortable with themselves as possible’. Would you agree?
I do agree – I’m a strong believer in the notion of being comfortable and confident in your own skin, because that’s when the best ‘you’ shines. I can try and be someone else – but people will always see through that.
For example: for me, being an actor is a blessing. It’s something I’ve worked too hard at to simply quit, so what helps me to keep going is to think of it as ‘a lifestyle, not a destination’. Whether I’m winning big awards in the future or not, I will always know, deep down, that I’ve committed to being the person I want to be. I’ve found that this perspective keeps me pushing to be better, and it also means I enjoy the process more.
Of course, you saw major success last year, winning ‘Best Actor’ at the 48 Hour Film Project. Was it difficult, pulling such an honest performance out of a character you only had two days to explore?
The 48 Hour Film Project is one of the best challenges a filmmaker or actor throw themselves into. I’m so proud of the awards – it was the biggest surprise, especially thinking back to my internal panic, having to prepare for a 16-page psychological thriller in around 90 minutes!
Thankfully, the team were very supportive and nurturing ( full credits here) – one thing I know is that, no matter what, if you have the right people around you, achieving the ‘impossible’ suddenly becomes ‘possible’. I remember our Co-Directors, Matthew Poole and Max Mir, told me that, due to time constraints, we’d try to film the second half of the script in one take. That made my stomach flip… so many times.
With a few more discussions, and lots of communication throughout, we managed to break it down into two or three takes overall, and even though I think I could’ve done better – that’s just me and my self-critic having too many fights all the time!
How do you think the challenges of competitions like the 48 Hour Film Project have made you a better actor?
I’m endlessly asking myself, ‘what would happen if you committed and just threw yourself into what scares you? What’s the worst that could happen? And what’s the best?’.
We often underestimate how good we are – not just as actors, but as people. While I don’t think challenges like the 48 Hour Film Project have necessarily made me a ‘better actor’, I do think that they forced me to see that, with the right script, the right people, and the right discipline, I’m capable of more than I think.
And finally, what are you up to next?
I’m currently about to get involved in another 48 Hour Film Project, actually! I’m also submitting a film I wrote, co-produced, and starred in for a few festivals, writing new materials – and I’ve just sent out two auditions for a Paramount+ show (in addition to another company back home).
Other than all of that, I’m still working on my craft, trying to improve slowly but surely. The industry is in quite a tough situation right now, but I’m trying to stay consistent and hopeful, believing that things will get better.