Belgrade International Theatre Festival

Belgrade International Theatre Festival
Photo: bitef.rs
The Belgrade International Theatre Festival (BITEF) is an annual theatre festival held in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Founded in 1967, it has since become a major event in the cultural calendar of Serbia.

The Belgrade International Theatre Festival was founded in 1967 by playwright Mira Trailović and theatre expert Jovan Ćirilov at the initiative of the Belgrade City Council. One of the main goals of the event was to raise the prestige of Belgrade as the cultural capital of Yugoslavia.

Thanks to the support of international cultural organizations, NGOs and the government of Serbia, the festival managed to survive the dissolution of Yugoslavia and continued to grow and develop in independent Serbia. Over the years, BITEF has become one of the most significant cultural events in Serbia and arguably in Eastern Europe. Its program includes both classical and experimental productions to suit any taste. In the 1980s, BITEF was one of the few theatre festivals that featured both classical and contemporary theatre.

The program of the Belgrade International Theatre Festival consists of two parts. The main program includes world-class productions selected by the festival committee. The number of productions varies from year to year, but usually the program includes about a dozen plays. Most performances are followed by Q&As with directors and actors.

The side program includes panels, musical concerts, film screenings, art exhibitions, seminars, workshops, presentations, round tables, symposiums, parties, and other events and activities. The oldest events of the site program are the BITEF on Film film festival (established in 1976) and the BITEF Polyphony concert (established in 2000).

BITEF is a competitive festival. Its jury comprises renowned Serbian and international theatre experts who choose the best production from the festival’s main program. The winner receives the Mira Trailović Award that was named after one of the festival’s founders who is considered to be one of the most distinguished playwrights and theatre directors in the history of Serbian and Yugoslav theatre.

Belgrade International Theatre Festival

Photo: theguardian.com



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