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Jim Sheridan opens the Belgrade Irish Festival in March

The Belgrade Irish Festival (BIF), an event that traditionally showcases the art and culture of Ireland to the local audience every March, will be held for the twelfth time this year, from March 8th to 18th, as part of St. Patrick’s Week in Belgrade.

Over the course of ten days, the Belgrade audience will have the opportunity to enjoy a selection of Irish films, award-winning theater performances, photography exhibitions, engage in discussions with directors, writers, and journalists from Ireland, learn more about the country and its culture through interactions with Irish residents in Serbia.

This year, the Belgrade Irish Festival will be inaugurated by Jim Sheridan, the renowned screenwriter, producer, and director from Ireland, whose films have received 16 Oscar nominations, and whom the domestic audience most notably recognizes for the movies “In the Name of the Father” and “My Left Foot” (both starring Daniel Day-Lewis in lead roles).

On Friday, March 8th, 2024, Jim Sheridan will open the 12th Belgrade Irish Festival at the Yugoslav Kinoteka building.

An exclusive guest of the Belgrade Irish Festival is the theater troupe from Dublin, “Fishamble.” They will be presenting their play “The King,” which earned the lead actor, Pat Kinevane, the prestigious British acting award – the Laurence Olivier Award. The play was part of the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year and will be performed in America after Belgrade.

Kinevane brings to life on stage the character of a loner named Luther, inspired by Martin Luther King, who is preparing for his grand performance as an impersonator of another king – Elvis Presley. The story delves into themes of prejudice, the struggle for individual choices in life, and, in a broader sense, raises questions about the mental health of contemporary individuals.

The play “The King” will be performed twice at the Bitef Theatre, on March 14th and 15th.

Regarding other programs within the Festival: The Festival kicks off with “Irish Film Week” screening Sheridan’s film “My Left Foot,” which earned Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar for Best Actor. This year, BIF boasts its richest film program yet. Through two thematic sections, a total of 15 films celebrating the lives and achievements of Irish creators will be showcased, including major film stars like Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris, musician and activist Sinéad O’Connor, as well as contemporary pop icons like Panti Bliss, a popular Irish drag queen and LGBTQ rights advocate.

Sinéad O’Connor. NOTHING COMPARES. Photo credit: Sheila Rock Photography/Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

A guest of BIF is also director and writer Alan Gilsenan, former president of the Irish Film Institute. Audiences will have the opportunity to see his film “Ghosts of Bagottonia,” which explores the bohemian district of Bagottonia in Dublin, a gathering place for Irish artists, intellectuals, radicals, and eccentrics compared to the conservative environment of the time.

Theo Dorgan, dubbed “Ireland’s greatest living poet,” will be visiting Belgrade as a guest of BIF. He will be reading his poetry and engaging in discussions with the audience at the Krokodil Association. In collaboration with Literature Ireland and Krokodil, one writer will be part of a literary residency, living and writing in Belgrade for a month.

BIF will also present an exhibition by photographer Joseph Phillip Bevillard titled “Irish Travelers,” showcasing the life of Irish nomads, an ethnic minority known as Irish Travelers.

Jim Sheridan Daniel Del Lewis

As always, the BIF program will be accompanied by parties at Irish pubs, communal viewing of rugby matches between England and Ireland, as well as Ireland and Scotland, and gatherings with Irish residents who have long lived in Belgrade. BIF, as in previous years, invites volunteers to join their team and participate in the organization. Find more information about application conditions at this link.

We would like to thank the media for their coverage of the Festival over all these years. We are available for any additional information regarding specific content or contacts with artists.

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