Actress Milena Zupančič honoured in Belgrade

Belgrade – Actress Milena Zupančič has won the Tatjana Lukjanova Award, conferred for long-term contribution to the Belgrade theatre and theatre life in Serbia. She accepted the award at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the Belgrade theatre on Sunday.

Zupančič won the award for her role of Sonja in the play Cement Beograd, directed by Sebastijan Horvat. The play is part of a trilogy that Horvat and dramatist Milan Ramšak Marković conceived based on a work by German dramatist Heiner Müller for productions in Zagreb, Ljubljana and Belgrade.

Zupančič stars in the play in Belgrade. “To be honest I was very surprised by the award and it has a special place among the awards I have received so far,” she told the Belgrade tabloid Blic.

“Secondly, it is a kind of crown to all that has been happening even though for a long time it seemed so unlikely. It crowned the opportunity for me to work in Belgrade. This theatre has done so much by connecting the theatres of the region, actors, authors …”

She said the theatre had been a collateral damage in the recent turbulent political history, as “cooperation and exchanges had been at the core of our very existence”.

Zupančič said a major challenge in the Cement Beograd for her had been the language. “Thanks to the team, my extraordinary stage partner Miki Krstović, I’ve overcome this challenge feeling a strong and so very precious support,” she said.

The 75-year-old has won all the major Slovenian awards for her achievements, including the Prešeren Prize, as well as many accolades in the region of the former Yugoslavia. She also won the Actor of Europe award in 2015.

She has created characters that are recorded in the memory of many spectators of Slovenian and Yugoslav films, and is best known in Slovenia for her role of Meta in the film Blossoms in Autumn (1973).