I Put a Spell on You crew / Photo: JK Media
I Put a Spell on You crew / Photo: JK Media

The double edition of the 54th and 55th Bitef was officially closed with the second performance of Flesh, on the Olivera and Rade Marković Stage of the Belgrade Drama Theatre. Following the performance-installation by Franck Vigroux’s, the official announcement of the winners was made, after which the guests enjoyed music and socialising.

At the closing ceremony, Ivan Medenica, the Artistic Director of Bitef, presented the festival’s international jury, consisting of: Shermin Langhoff, Artistic Director of the Maxim Gorki Theatre, Berlin, president; Lucia van Heteren, Senior Lecturer and theatre critic; Agata Juniku, theatrologist and Lecturer at Academy of Dramatic Arts, Zagreb; Cecilia Djurberg, theatre and dance critic and journalist, Sweden; and Jovana Tomić, theatre director, Serbia.

Due to the fact that this year's edition of the festival was double, the jury decided to award two prizes in each category.

Jury president Shermin Langhoff announced the jury’s decision, awarding the Grand Prix Mira Trailović for the best play equally to two productions: I Put a Spell on You by Ehsan Hemat and Cement Belgrade by Sebastijan Horvat.

Bitef Team / Photo: JK Media
Bitef Team / Photo: JK Media

The Jovan Ćirilov Special Prize was also presented equally to The Cherry Orchard in the Cherry Orchard by Bobo Jelcic and Farm Fatale by Philippe Quesne.

The Politika Award jury, consisting of theatre directors Haris Pašović and Ana Tomović, cultural section editor Gordana Popovic, theatre critic Ana Tasić, and journalist Borka Golubović-Trebješanin, decided that the 43rd Politika Award for best director would go to Wim Vandekeybus for Traces and Bobo Jelčić for The Cherry Orchard in the Cherry Orchard.

Ivan Medenica announced the Audience Award for As if the End Were Not Quite Near, by Maja Pelević and Nikola Zavišić. 

The detailed explanation of the 54th/55th Bitef is available HERE.

On behalf of the Bitef team, Andjelka Janković concluded the award ceremony saying: “It seems to us that in the end it is still best to live in the present. And we will see you again in the future, at the 56th Bitef in 2022.”

The official award ceremony and the After Ten party were held at Dorćol Platz, jointly organized with the Vinokultura civic association and Belgrade Wine Week.

We remind that the double 54th and 55th edition of Bitef took place 13-25 September in Belgrade, under the slogan Edge of the Future. During the festival we had the opportunity to see twelve productions from Belgium, France, Germany, Serbia, Croatia, Iran, Austria, Mexico, and Chile. The central topic of the festival was posthumanism, in the context of a vision of the world that could in the future be less anthropocentric, as the vision of the future world that could be less anthropocentric, among other things because of the environmental disasters that we ourselves are responsible for.

This year Bitef was held in near impossible circumstances, brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, when the decision was made to hold a double 54th and 55th edition of the festival in 2021, no one could have assumed what challenges the organisers would face. Yet, Bitef was concluded successfully and in accordance with all epidemiological measures.

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, as well as Delegation of the European Union to Serbia. Our long-term associates are the Goethe Institute, and the French Institute in Serbia, with support from Teatroskop - the regional program for performing arts of the French Institute in Paris and the French Ministry of Culture. 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 MTS, Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad, and long-standing friend of the festival Coca-Cola Hellenic Serbia.