Ita Rina was the first and possibly the most important international movie star from the territory of the former Yugoslavia, which, apart from the domestic one, left a significant trace in Czech and German cinema. She was born as Italina Kravanja in Divača near Trieste, Italy on July 7, 1907.Since childhood she has dreamed of a film career and a bright stage. Her mother was shocked by this because she considered it a disgrace for a girl to be an actress. Despite her mother’s refusal, her beauty was heard to far-off Germany and was invited to a trial recording. Since the family did not let go to Berlin, In 1927 Ita escaped from home.
Her acting career began in Berlin. She signed a three-year contract with the production house “Ostermayer” and they made a real star from her. They learned to act, dance, ride, ride, swim … For almost a year and a half she appeared in smaller roles, gaining experience and preparing for more serious roles.Her name – Ida Kravanja, was first recorded on the movie “What Children Hiding From Parents” directed by Franz Osten. Next year, she will take the pseudonym for which she will remain forever remembered – Ita Rina.
This Balkan beauty was celebrated in 1929 with the role of “Erotikon” by Gustavo Mahati. After the Paris premiere of a story about the misled and abandoned daughter of the guard of the railway station, the audience of Ita Rina literally wearing on their hands her out of the cinema!Audiences adored her, and critics praised her “Slovenian beauty” and a gift for acting.She received hundreds of fans’ letters and an offer to continue her Hollywood career.However, at the peak of glory, in 1931, Iti’s heart stole Miodrag Djordjevic, an engineer from Belgrade, and she decided to leave everything and marry him.
Since then, she was filmed in Yugoslavia only occasionally going to Germany where, with the arrival of the Nazis, the situation for the actors has changed.It had to prove that she was not a Jew, and during the filming of the “Central Station” in 1939, she quarrel up with a man who insulted Yugoslavia. This man worked for the gestapo.Ambassador of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in Berlin, Ivo Andric (winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature) saved her from prison, who advised her to return to her country immediately.The second world war actress spent far away from the public, taking care of her husband, son and daughter. After 1945, she appeared on the film only once, in a smaller role in the film “War” from 1960. During her career, Ita Rina recorded 19 films in which she interpreted the main roles.
Having definitely withdrawn from public life, she moved with her family to Budva (Montenegro) where she lived until her death. She died in May 1979 during a disastrous earthquake that struck the region. She was 72 years old. She was buried in Belgrade.