As it was announced on Tuesday night in the Bitef Theater, at the festival closing ceremony, the 57th Bitef Grand Prix "Mira Trailović" went to the play #Jeanne, directed by Anja Suša by the text by Ivana Sajko.
"It is a rich theatrical experience that captivates with its complexity. It is a fairy tale about classes, heroes and revolutions, about capitalism and the apocalypse, which moves through the registers of history, through fantasy, memory, self-criticism and fortune-telling," the explanation states.
The special award "Jovan Ćirilov" for outstanding contribution to theater art is awarded to the play Goodbye, Lindita by Mario Banushi.
"Although we highly appreciate Banushi's direction, his work with lights and music, as well as the performers on stage, Banushi's talent, intuition and skill in processing time and temporality stand out as an exceptional contribution to performing arts," the jury stated in their explanation.
The international jury of the 57th Bitef was chaired by prof. Ana Vujanović, PhD, together with playwright and theater director Žoris Lakost, actress and acting teacher Nataša Barbara Gračner, visual artist and performance artist Siniša Ilić and playwright of the Wiener Festwochen festival Iris Rafetzider.
Mario Banushi is also the winner of Politika Award for the best director, bestowed by the daily newspaper of the same name, and the statement by the jury reads that his directorial manuscript "brings emotional, dreamlike and poetically expressive glimpses of death and of facing it". The decision was made unanimously by the Politika's jury consisting of directors Andraš Urban and Veljko Mićunović, as well as the representatives of Politika's editorial staff, Gordana Popović, the editor of the Culture section, Ana Tasić, theater critic, and Borka Golubović Trebješanin, journalist.
The audience award went to the opera-performance Sun and Sea by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė. Evaluating each of the performances from 1 to 5, the audience awarded the Lithuanian production with a high average score of 4.61.
The closing ceremony of the festival was marked by the dance performance Wakatt, performed on the big stage of the National Theatre. Choreographer Serge Eme Coulibaly and the troupe of the Faso Dance Theater were greeted with applause by the audience, as well as the musical accompaniment led by one of the greatest French jazz flutists, Magic Malik.
This year's Bitef was held from October 3-10th under the slogan "Strength, Don’t Let Yourself Be Anyone’s". The main programme featured nine performances from Germany, Greece, Lithuania, Hungary, Sweden, Belgium, Burkina Faso and Serbia. Along with the sold-out performances, this year's Bitef was also marked by lasting rounds of applause.
The festival was traditionally 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 Serbia, Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, as well as the friends of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia, 1664 Blanc and Somersby, Rajićeva Shopping Center, Alma Quattro, Info media group, Acibadem Bel medic, the "Every Can Counts" programme, Ekostar, Vulkan Publishing, as well as Halo Creative team.