Alina Serban

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Alina Serban
Born
Alina Ioana Serban

(1987-10-29) 29 October 1987 (age 35)
OccupationActress, Director
Years active2006–present

Alina Serban (born October 29, 1987) is the winner of Best Actress Award[1] at the German Actors Guild Awards[2] 2020 for her leading role in “Gipsy Queen”,[3] a nominee for Best Actress of the German Film Award 2020, the representative of Romania at The Cannes International Film Festival 2018[4] for her leading role in Alone at My Wedding and the first Roma woman theatre and film director of Romania.

The first one in her family to graduate high-school, she graduated from the Tisch School of the Arts in New York and obtained a master’s from Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Serban is known for writing and performing plays with social justice messages, against sexism, racism, homophobia and various other forms of discrimination[5]

Biography[edit]

Alina Serban was born in 1987 in a Romanian Roma family in Bucharest, Romania. She was 8 years old when her parents lost their home and were forced to move to her father’s extended family. A few years later her mother went to prison and Alina spent her teenage years in a children's home from where she went directly to the university. She used her diaries from those years to write the early versions of I Declare at My Own Risk, Slumdog Roma and Two weeks, maximum one month, maybe six years[6] – which she performed at the International Romani Art Festival in 2009 and 2010[7]

In 2011 Serban received a scholarship and moved to London for a master’s program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. The following year she received the "Best Romanian Student in the UK”, prize, but she could not afford the expenses associated with the trip from London to Edinburgh so she could not pick up the prize in person.

In March 2014 the actress was invited to the Street Child World Cup to give a speech in front of 2000 people at Royal Albert Hall.[8] In 2016 Alina Serban published the first Collection of Roma Fairy Tales in Romania, as told by her aunt – Tanti Veta.

She played the lead role and contributed as a script consultant for three European film projects focusing on experiences of Roma women: ‘Written/Unwritten’,[9] Alone at My Wedding and ‘Gipsy Queen’.

For her first leading role in cinema, Serban stars in Marta Bergman’s feature film Alone at My Wedding, which premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival in 2018 and earned her several Best Actress awards.

She also stars as a boxer in Huseyin Tabak’s ‘Gipsy Queen’, a German-Austrian production. For her performance in ‘Gipsy Queen’ she won the Best Actress Award[10] at Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2019, the ‘Best Actress’ award at The German Actors Guild Awards and was nominated for the German Film Academy Award - LOLA.

In 2020, Alina Serban made her debut as a filmmaker with “Bilet de iertare”/“Letter of Forgiveness”[11]- the first film about the Roma slavery written and directed from a Roma perspective. The short film was awarded a Special Mention[12] for Best Romanian Short Film at Transilvania International Film Festival and Best Narrative Director at Female Voices Rock, USA.

Studies[edit]

Theatre[edit]

Alina Serban became known on the alternative theater scene of Bucharest after the performance I Declare at My Own Risk, a one-woman-show she had also written. The play, inspired by the autobiographical story of the actress,[14] was performed in many European countries, including Romania, Hungary, France and Italy[15]

In 2013 Alina Serban performed I Declare at My Own Risk in Great Britain, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic ArtRADA Festival, followed by another performance at Tara Arts in 2014[16]

While Living in London, in 2015, Alina Serban wrote “Home”, a play that tells a story of different immigrants looking for a better life in the UK. The play won “Stories of London” Rich Mix's competition[17]

By the end of 2015, Serban performed in “Roma-Sapiens” in Berlin and was invited to present and perform I Declare at My Own Risk at the Stockholm Literature Festival[18]

In 2016 Alina Serban writes, directs and performs in “The Great Shame”, a theater play that talks about 500 years of Roma slavery in the Romanian countries and in which she includes little known stories of slavery from historical documents[19]

Other projects[edit]

Year Title Role
2012-2013 WANNA KNOW A SECRET ? PERFORMER
2014 PERFORMER I DECLARE AT MY OWN RISK
2014 STREET CHILD WORLD CUP PERFORMER
2014 THE HOUSE PROJECT MACARENA
2015 RISK PERFORMER
2015 THE HOUSE PROJECT THE CLEANER
2015 ABOUT ME WRITER-PERFORMER
2015 ROMO SAPIENS MIA
2016 RISK PERFORMER
2016 THE GREAT SHAME MADGA
2016 I DECLARE AT MY OWN RISK ALINA
2016 ROMEO AND JULIET MERCUTIO
2016 THROUGH MY SKIN LEYLA

Cinema[edit]

Year Title Role
2015 “FAST TO KILL” KATHERIN MCKAY
2016 “SCRIS/ NESCRIS” GIUBERINA
2017 GIPSY QUEEN ALI
2018 Alone at My Wedding Pamela

Television[edit]

Year Title Role
2007 THE LAST ENEMY - BBC SERIES NADIR
2008-2009 A STORY ABOUT THE GIRL PERFORMER
2011 CENSUS THE FRENCH WOMAN
2016 HOLOCAUST SORA
2018 DOING MONEY - TV MOVIE, BBC TWO LILY

References[edit]

  1. ^ Alina Șerban - Best Actress Award at The Actors Guild Awards 2020. Alina Serban. 14 September 2020. Archived from the original on 15 September 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2021 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Deutscher Schauspielpreis 2020: Alina Serban ausgezeichnet".
  3. ^ "Gipsy Queen (2019)".
  4. ^ "Alina Şerban la Festivalul de film de la Cannes". 10 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Alina Şerban, actriţă româncă de etnie romă: "În Marea Britanie, m-au întrebat dacă sunt Esmeralda"". Adevarul.
  6. ^ "Sunt Alina Şerban, sunt de etnie romă şi nu vreau să mă tratez". Critic Atac.
  7. ^ "Istoric". IRAF. Archived from the original on 2016-04-03.
  8. ^ Alina Serban, actress - "Street Child World Cup". Barbu Razvan. 29 January 2015. Archived from the original on 3 February 2021. Retrieved 5 October 2021 – via YouTube.
  9. ^ "Scris/Nescris (Short 2016)".
  10. ^ Alina Serban - Best Actress @ PÖFF Black Nights Film Festival 2019 - Speech. Alina Serban. 4 December 2019. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 5 October 2021 – via YouTube.
  11. ^ BILET DE IERTARE trailer / Letter of Forgiveness. Alina Serban. 24 August 2020. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 5 October 2021 – via YouTube.
  12. ^ Bilet de iertare - Mentiune speciala TIFF 2020 - Discurs Alina Șerban. Alina Serban. 10 August 2020. Archived from the original on 5 April 2021. Retrieved 5 October 2021 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "Alina Serban, talentata actrita de etnie roma care darama prejudecatile britanicilor". Pro TV.
  14. ^ "This Is Who I Am Now: Alina Serban on Roma Art and Identity". Open Society Foundations.
  15. ^ "Alina Șerban performs 'I Declare at My Own Risk'". Evensi.
  16. ^ "Alina Serban supported by Tara Arts & Arts Council England". Tara Arts.
  17. ^ "Alina Serban". Black Theatre Live.
  18. ^ "Authors and other Participants". Moderna Museet.
  19. ^ "Romania turns its back on dark past of Roma slavery". Yahoo News.

External links[edit]