Awards were presented to work by Nina Rajić Kranjac and Jan Martens at closing ceremony of the 56th BITEF
Following 10 days of performances, the 56th BITEF festival came to a close on 1st October. The title for this year’s festival was ‘We, the Heroes of our Labour’ and the theme was work, a topic which was explored from multiple angles. The festival which opened on 23rd September with Katie Mitchell’s production (Not) the End of the World, featured performances from Serbia, Slovenia, France, Germany, Belgium and Mexico.
During the closing ceremony awards at Belgrade’s Docker Brewery were presented by BITEF artistic director Ivan Medenica and this year’s international jury, which this year consisted of the dramaturg Stefanie Carp, the German theatre critic Christine Dössel, Bosnian director Selma Spahić, Serbian actress Vanja Ejdus and Croatian playwright Dino Pešut.
The Grand Prix went to two performances: Solo by Nina Rajic Kranjac, a four hour piece performed In a concrete hanger in Belgrade’s port, co-produced by Slovenia’s Mladinsko Theatre and Maska and dance piece any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones by the Belgian choreographer Jan Martens. This year’s “Jovan Ćirilov” Special Award was presented to Love by the UK director Alexander Zeldin, a piece about the reality of life in a temporary accommodation facility for the homeless which premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2016.
The Politika Award for best directing also went to Jan Martens for the performance any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. The jury for this prize consisted of the theatre directors Haris Pašović and Ana Tomović, editor of the Politika culture section Gordana Popović, theatre critic Ana Tasić, and journalist Borka Golubović Trebješanin.
The Audience Award, went to the Maja Pelević and Olga Dimitrijević’s World Without Women, a show about working conditions for female theatre artists in Serbia, co-produced by Bitef Theatre and Centre for Cultural Decontamination.
Main image: any attempt will end in crushed bodies and shattered bones. Photo: Phile Deprez
For more information on this year’s BITEF festival, visit: bitef.festival.rs
Further reading: review of Solo, Mladinsko, Ljubljana
Further reading: review of Gardien Party/Tijuana (BITEF 22)
Natasha Tripney is a writer, editor and critic based in London and Belgrade. She is the reviews editor for The Stage, the newspaper of the UK theatre industry. In 2011, she co-founded Exeunt, an online theatre magazine, which she edited until 2016. She is a contributor to the Guardian, Evening Standard, the BBC, Tortoise and Kosovo 2.0