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Albert Serra

The Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra, born 1975 in Banyoles, Spain, is considered one of the young masters of independent European cinema. In his films, installations, theatrical pieces and performances, Serra has created a unique landscape of intense and provocative portraits of historical and literary figures like Don Quixote, Casanova, Louis XIV, Hitler, Fassbinder, Goethe and the Three Kings, where convention and experiment merge as if one were the mirror in which the other must naturally be reflected.

After receiving a PhD in literary theory and comparative literature from Barcelona University in 2006 Serra wrote, directed and produced his first feature Honor de cavalleria (Honour of the Knights), which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2006. In 2008, he wrote and directed El cant dels ocells (Birdsong), which also premiered at Cannes Film Festival, followed two years later by Els Noms de Crist (The Names of Christ), screened at the exhibition Esteu a punt per a la televisió? (Are you ready for the TV?, Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona, MACBA) and first shown at Festival del Film Locarno 2011. With the following feature El senyor ha fet en mi meravelles (Lord Worked Wonders in Me), produced for the exhibition Correspondències at the CCCB Museum (Barcelona Centre of Contemporary Culture) and premiered at Festival del Film Locarno 2011, he received the prestigious LUMA Award, granted by the LUMA Foundation in the Rencontres d'Arles 2011.

In 2010 Albert Serra was invited by the theatre director Àlex Rigola to make his debut at Teatre Lliure in Barcelona, where Serra produced, wrote and directed two experimental stage plays, Pulgasari and, the year after, Més Enllà Des Alps, always staying loyal to his “dramaturgy of presence”.

Invited by dOCUMENTA (13), he created a groundbreaking 101-day live-cinema performance called Els tres porquets (The Three Little Pigs), specifically conceived for the venue and shot in Kassel over three months and now edited as a monumental 101-hour film installation. In 2013, he wrote and directed Història de la meva mort (Story of My Death), again premiering at Festival del film di Locarno 2013, and was awarded the Golden Leopard for the best film. In the same year, Centre Pompidou in Paris entrusted Albert Serra with carte blanche and later that year a re-edition of the retrospective was held in Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, where he organised the screening of all his films, a conversation with Catherine Millet on spirituality in Zurbaran’s paintings and a selection of mystical and religious films shown in Brussels Cinematek. Arsenal Institut in Berlin organised a comprehensive retrospective of Albert’s filmography, with screenings of features and short films, Q&A and debates.

In 2015, Albert Serra’s new project Singularity, curated by Chus Martinez, was selected to represent Catalonia in the 56th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale. The film, devised as a monumental installation of five screens, was shown in Venice from May to November 2015, in Barcelona in December 2015 and at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2016. In 2015, a major survey of Albert Serra’s work, entitled Divine Visionaries and Holy Fools, was held at the Tate Modern in London. In 2016, he wrote and directed La mort de Louis XIV, a film about the last days of the Sun King starring the nouvelle-vague star Jean-Pierre Léaud as the king. The film premiered in the Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival 2016 and was awarded the prestigious Prix Jean Vigo 2016. In 2017, a retrospective of all his feature films and art works is being held in Lisbon at the Cinemateca Portuguesa, the Palácio Pombal and at the Galeria Graça Brandao. Albert Serra is currently preparing his new feature film, I Am an Artist, about the inner life of the art world.

> "Albert Serra, what can this 2,500-year-old theatre ritual right now bring forth?"

> Trailer zum Film La Mort de Louis XIV (2016)
> Trailer zum Film Història de la meva mort (2013)

Past productions

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