This year's Bitef will be held from 3-10th October in Belgrade, and the international jury, chaired by Prof. Ana Vujanović, PhD, will decide on the main festival awards.
At the second press conference in anticipation of this year's Bitef, which was held on September 7 on the terrace of Hotel Indigo, the festival team gathered with media representatives and announced this year's international jury.
As revealed by Bitef artistic director Nikita Milivojević, the president of the jury will be Prof. Ana Vujanović, Ph.D. (HZT, University of the Arts in Berlin; SNDO, Academy for Theater and Dance, University of the Arts in Amsterdam).
The jury will also include Joris Lacoste, playwright and theater director, artistic director of the "Encyclopedia of Words", Nataša Barbara Gračner, actress and professor of acting at the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television of the University of Ljubljana, Siniša Ilić, visual artist and performance artist, stage designer and curator and Iris Rafetzider, playwright of the Wiener Festwochen festival.
They will decide who will receive this year's festival awards - the "Mira Trailović" Grand Prix and the "Jovan Ćirilov" Special Award.
The main programme consists of the plays "Children of the Sun" (Germany), "Goodbye, Lindita" (Greece), the opera-performance "Sun and Sea" (Lithuania), "Singing Youth" (Hungary), "#Jeanne" (Sweden), "Wakatt" (Belgium, Burkina Faso), as well as domestic productions "Desire to Make Solid History Will End Up in Failure" and "All Adventurous Women Do".
Milivojević also drew attention to the side programmes of the 57th Bitef, which consists of Meetings with the Authors, Bitef Polyphony and Cirkobalkana. The goal of the festival is to offer and develop a theoretical discourse that will accompany the selection of the main programme this year. On that occasion, Prof. Ana Vujanović, PhD will hold a lecture "From the Proletariat to the Precariat - and back!"
THE EUROPEAN SPIRIT OF BITEF
Plamena Halacheva, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, pointed out at the press conference that she is proud that the EU Delegation to Serbia is supporting the Bitef festival for the sixth time.
"Since the beginning of our cooperation, our goal has been to support the latest theater trends, as well as to help artists and professionals to establish new partnerships in culture." Through this support, we want to encourage and empower artists and the cultural community in Serbia and help raise awareness among the general public about the importance of the transformative and creative power of art," said Halacheva.
"Serbia's cultural scene has so much to offer and contribute to our common rich and diverse European cultural space. That is why we are not surprised that Serbia is one of the most successful participants of our Creative Europe programme, the main initiator of the European Union for supporting culture, both in the EU and in Serbia."
Christoph Veldhues, director of the Goethe Institute, reminded that this institution has supported the festival since its inception and presented the German play "Children of the Sun" performed by Schauspielhaus from Bochum, which will officially open the 57th Bitef. It is a play by Maxim Gorky directed by Mateja Koležnik.
"Mateja deconstructs this constellation and places it in the early 1960s, which allows a view of another, and yet, not so different society, all presented on Orfeo Voigt's hyperrealistic stage design," stated Christoph Veldhues. He also mentioned that the play was included in the programme of the most prestigious theater festival of contemporary plays in Berlin, where its contemporaneity was particularly emphasized by the tragic continuity of individual failure confronted with the real challenges of the times.
Maria Levanti, Ambassador of Greece, spoke about the play "Goodbye, Lindita" directed by the young director Mario Banoussi, produced by the National Theater of Greece. As she said, it is about one of the plays that provoked the greatest interest this year in Athens.
"This work turned out to be the most positive surprise in Greek theater events, because the young 25-year-old director managed to touch all those who saw it," said Levanti. "Mario Banushi came from Albania to Greece at the age of six, and using memories from his hometown and experiences from his new country, he created a play centered on the theme of dealing with loss and finally saying goodbye to loved ones. The play doesn't contain any dialogues, which makes it accessible to everyone."
The online sales of tickets at a 20% discount lasts until September 10 at 11:59 p.m. After that, tickets will be available on the festival website at a 10% discount. From September 11, tickets will be available at regular prices at the Bitef box office, where a set of tickets can be purchased at a 30% discount. The box office will also be open this year in the festival press center, on the first floor of the MTS hall, on Nikola Pašić Square.
The festival has traditionally been supported by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, the Goethe Institute, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Embassy of Greece. New Moment New Ideas Company, the festival's creative agency, is a partner and friend of Bitef. Festival partners this year are Generali Insurance Srbija, Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, as well as the friends of the Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia festival, 1664 Blanc and Somersby, Rajićeva Shopping Center, Alma Quattro, Info Media group, Acibadem Bel medic, the programme "Every Can Counts", Hotel Indigo and the restaurant Cveće zla, as well as Hello Creative team.