Gabriel Sandu


Gabriel Sandu (b. 1988) is a multidisciplinary film and theatre artist who is passionate about the docu-fiction genre. He often utilizes investigative journalism tools to document the themes of his creations and subsequently employs fiction to explore new performative dimensions.

As a film director, he has worked on a short fiction film titled “Dislocated,” which was presented at the Transilvania International Film Festival in 2022. He has also worked on a documentary about narcissistic abuse called “EgoTrip,” which had a work-in-progress opening in 2022 and was screened at SAC@Malmaison in Bucharest. Currently, Sandu is in production with a documentary about the life of Romanian singer Mihaela Runceanu, and he is developing two fiction film projects, all of which are produced by Manifest Film.

His theatre plays have been translated into English, French, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Greek, and his performances have been selected for several national and international festivals. His show “Enmity v2.0,” produced at Teatrelli in Bucharest, was presented at the International Theatre Festival Sibiu (FITS) in 2022. Additionally, his play “Trauma Kink” from Teatrul Dramaturgilor Romani has been selected for the Synergy International Theater Festival in Novi Sad and was presented in March 2023 at Riverside Studios in London.

His work spans the spectrum of religious interference in artistic freedom of expression and the human rights of marginalized groups, such as the LGBTQ community. Productions such as “My Father, the Priest,” “Poor Iulia,” and “Forgot” have been staged in various venues across the country, ranging from national theatres to independent spaces. Gabriel addresses societal events in his choice of topics, employing research through journalistic instruments, and later fictionalization for dramatic purposes, resulting in works that often fall into the docu-fiction genre.

Both the plays he has written and the shows he has directed have been showcased in national festivals and have received several awards. “I Forgot” (Uitasem), which fictionalizes the real case of a Romanian boy raised by his mother to believe he is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ, was nominated for Best Play at the Focus Drama Awards in 2018 and won the jury prize for Best Acting Performances at the Bucharest Fringe Festival in 2020. “Poor Julia” has won the first prize at Bacău Monodrame, and “My Father, the Priest” was nominated for Best Play of the Year at the Bucharest Fringe Festival.


This play won the DramAcum Competition in 2008 and FestCo in 2009.
The structure consists in three stories – each of them has a kid as the main character. All three stories are fictionalised events that I heard about on the news. The text bellow is a translated version of the first story of the play.
– The first kid – his mother believes that he is Jesus himself and never lets him out of their house. Everyone thinks she is killing him, but she just wants to protect him.

This text was premiered in November, 2017, at the National Theatre of Târgu Mureș, directed by Leta Popescu.
Little background for the non-Romanian reader: in 2016, in Romania, there was a petition that raised 3 milion of signatures from people who want to change the definition of the family as it is stated in the national Constitution. The movement was hardly financed by neo-protestant evangelical churches from the United States of America and evangelical churches from Russia, with the local implemantion of Romanian orthodox churches. The final aim for the movement is to make it illegal in Romania for LGBT couples to get married. In the past year, a guy who is the gay son of an orthodox activist against lgbt priest approach me and told me his story. This is the fictionalized version of the events.

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