The second regular media conference announcing the 56th edition of BITEF, which will be held from 23 September to 2 October 2022, was held in Belgrade. The main programme of the festival will consist of nine productions from Germany, Belgium, Mexico, France, Serbia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
The participants of the conference, held on 31 August 2022 on the premises of Docker Brewery and Beer Garden, were the Bitef Theatre Director Miloš Latinović, the Bitef Art Director Ivan Medenica, the Head of Information, Communication and Press of the EU Delegation to Serbia Paul-Henri Presset, the British Council Country Director Serbia & Director Western Balkans Peter Brown, the Goethe Institute Director Frank Baumann and the French Institute Director Stanislas Pierre, who presented the entire programme of the festival and announced the sale of tickets as of 1st September.
The participants from the foreign cultural centres stressed the importance of Bitef in the local and international context and presented the productions from their countries. On that occasion, it was particularly emphasized that the EU Delegation to Serbia was the biggest partner of the festival founders: the Belgrade City Assembly and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, and the supporter of one of the most important European theatre festivals.
Mr. Medenica announced that Marina Davydova would be a special guest of this year's Bitef and would officially open the festival on 25th September. He said that Ms. Davydova was a proven friend of Bitef - she was a member of the festival jury, participated in the main programme (Eternal Russia, 53rd Bitef, Hau Berlin production) and promoted Bitef in various international contexts. Mr. Medenica pointed out that Bitef was proud of the fact that Marina Davydova, as well as other Russian artists who had participated in the festival in the last twenty-five years (Kirill Serebrennikov, Yuriy Pogrebnichko, Andrey Moguchy, Dmitry Chernyakov), did not support the Russian invasion of Ukraine and expressed his regret for the fact that she had been suffering serious consequences for expressing her views, including life in political emigration. Mr. Medenica concluded the conference by expressing his concern about the fact that in our community there was not enough knowledge or information about the independent Russian intellectuals who, in addition to certainly the biggest victims of the war - the citizens of Ukraine, had also suffered a huge blow.
On this occasion, the following statement of the Bitef Art Director and the Festival Management Team regarding the announced cancellation of Europride was read:
“In the context of the recent developments concerning the Europride in Belgrade, we still hope that the manifestation will take place as planned. We consider that the announced possible cancellation of this event would be unacceptable for different reasons: the official explanation of the situation is confusing and lacks credibility and the cancellation would violate one of the basic civil rights - the right to protest. On the other hand, Europride is not only an action for the defence of civil rights but also a platform for promoting queer culture. In its fifty-year-long history, Bitef has been promoting, in addition to other progressive social and artistic tendencies, the queer culture from all around the world. We still hope that Europride will happen as planned. If not, Bitef will open the doors of its theatres, alternative performing venues, bars and clubs to anyone who feels oppressed and wants to express their differences. Do come to Bitef, enjoy art and feel free, loved and protected.”
All international partners supported this statement. The Head of Information, Communication and Press of the EU Delegation to Serbia Paul-Henri Presset stated that basic human rights, such as the right to work, freedom of expression and assembly, were among the most valuable assets of modern society and expressed his hope that the Government of Serbia would find a way to support the holding of Europride.
In the continuation of the conference, the Bitef Art Director Ivan Medenica presented in more detail the rich side programme of the 56th Bitef, particularly highlighting the plenary meeting of the largest European theatre association IETM, which would be held as part of the festival from 28 September to 2 October under the slogan Work Hard, Live Harder!
This meeting will, like the 56th Bitef, urgently deal with labour rights and working conditions in the field of performing arts. In addition, as part of the side programme this year, the audience will be able to enjoy Meeting the Authors, Bitef Polyphony, CirkoBalkana, Bitef Library, Yugofuturism Conference, etc.
The festival has been traditionally supported by the Secretariat for Culture of the City of Belgrade and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia. This year we are also supported by the Goethe Institute, the British Council and the French Institute in Belgrade. The Bitef partner and friend again this year is I&F Group, within which McCann Belgrade, the festival's creative agency, also operates. The partners of the festival this year are the Post of Serbia and Generali Insurance Serbia, as well as the long-time friend of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia and Bel Medic General Hospital.
The sale of tickets starts on 1st September on the website prodaja.bitef.rs/en/. With online purchases, it is possible to get a 20% discount in the period 1-5 September, and after that, a 10% discount will apply to online purchases.
Tickets can be purchased also at the Bitef Box Office in the MTS Hall (address: Nikola Pašić Square). A 30% discount applies to the purchase of a set of tickets at the Box Office and it is possible to pay in cash or by a bank transfer (on the basis of a proforma invoice issued at the buyer's request).
Accreditation for this year's Bitef will begin on 1st September through the festival's official website. The deadline for accreditation is 14th September. If you have any additional questions regarding the attendance of this year's festival, please contact our press service.