This year Bitef will be held from 13 to 25 September. The double edition of the festival will include as many as fourteen productions in the main programme, by authors from France, Belgium, Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Iran, Austria, Mexico, and Chile. Familiar faces at the festival will include Thomas Ostermeier and Miloš Lolić, theatre directors from the ranks of Bitef audience favourites.
Ostermeier’s productions at Bitef have always generated great interest. This will be his fourth participation in the festival, where he debuted in 2000 with Disco Pigs, produced by the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz from Berlin, where Ostermeier also serves as art director. His performance Nora, produced by the same theatre, won the Politika Award at the 37th Bitef in 2003. His last production in Belgrade was two years ago (History of Violence).
Ostermeier’s An Enemy of the People, based on the piece by Henrik Ibsen, will be performed as part of the main programme this year. According to Bitef Artistic Director Ivan Medenica, in the piece, which is based on a superb acting, actualization is achieved primarily through a provocative and immersive scene. In it the audience, in the fictional context of a political rally, is invited to raise local current questions related to environmental and similar social issues.
Miloš Lolić will present himself to the Bitef audience for the third time. His performance The Enthusiasts, produced by the Yugoslav Drama Theatre, won the Grand Prix “Mira Trailović” at the 43rd Bitef in 2009, while the play Blood Wedding, produced by Volkstheater from Munich, won the Politika Award at the 46th Bitef in 2012.
Lolić’s Kaspar will be performed at the 54th and 55th Bitef, again produced by the Yugoslav Drama Theatre (JDP). When it came out, in the revolutionary year 1968, Peter Handke’s Kaspar was also perceived as a revolution, but in the drama form. Lolić, for whom this marks the return to the JDP and the local theatre in general, adapted and made the piece current, in collaboration with excellent actors, by bringing to the foreground the contemporary, direct and dystopic mechanisms of smothering freedoms, where language oppression is a mere tool.
The Bitef team has filmed a series of video clips in which it shows by example what are good practices in the context of environmentally responsible behaviour, a small part of everyday life but a great service to our planet. This marks the beginning of the #počniodsebe campaign, with the invitation for members of the public to share on social networks their habits that help protect the environment, with the aim of raising social environmental awareness.
Due to the current epidemiological situation, reservations and sales of tickets for this year’s Bitef will start in the second half of August. Follow the Bitef website and social networks for more information.
The festival is traditionally supported by the City of Belgrade Secretariat for Culture and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia, the Goethe Institute, and the French Institute in Belgrade. Once again, this year Bitef’s partner and friend is I&F Group, within which the festival’s creative agency McCann Belgrade operates. The partners yet again are Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad and long-standing friend of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia.