International Film Festival (FEST)
This year’s 46th Belgrade International Film Festival, FEST, is taking place at eight venues in the city: the Sava Centre, the Belgrade Youth Centre, DKC, Fontana, CZK Vlada Divljan, the Yugoslav Film Archives Cinematheque, the Museum of the Yugoslav Cinematheque and Cinegrand Rakovica. FEST this year includes over 120 films screened from 23rd February to 4th March, while their quality is the concern of Artistic Director Yugoslav Pantelić and selector of the programmes ‘Borders’, ‘Thrills & Kills’ and ‘Microwave’, Mladen Đorđević. In addition to the review section, films are also being shown in three competition selections – the Main Competition Programme, Serbian Film and Borders. Among the winners will be three greats of film who will take home the “Belgrade Victor” for their outstanding contributions to film art.
4 – National Theatre – 19.30
To date on the repertoires of domestic drama and opera ballet houses “Eugene Onegin” has been performed exclusively as a dramatic work or opera. But now the Great Stage of the National Theatre will host a performance of the ballet “Eugene Onegin”, according to Alexander Pushkin’s novel and to the music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The choreography, direction and libretto have been entrusted to Serbia’s Lidija Pilipenko.
Fire of Anatolia
7 – Sava Centre – 21.00
Legendary Turkish dance group “Fire of Anatolia”, led by famous art director Mustafa Erdogan, will perform at Belgrade’s Sava Centre on 7th March. “Fire of Anatolia” holds two Guinness World Records, one for the fastest dance performance with 241 steps within a minute, and the other for the largest audience – around 400,000 people in the city of Eregli, in Turkey’s Black Sea region. This dance group has performed in more than 80 countries around the world and also performed at the opening of the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. The show features a combination of Turkish culture and historical folk dance from various parts of Turkey, accompanied by contemporary dance, ballet and acrobatic elements. This troupe’s dances are based on Anatolian civilisation’s 4,000-year-old dance culture.
“Fire of Anatolia” now comprises 120 dancers and several choreographers, which means that the group can perform simultaneously in three different locations. According to Erdogan, “Fire of Anatolia” is currently among the world’s top three dance troupes.
7 – National Theatre – 19:00
Often cited as Italian opera’s greatest tragedy, Otello is a miraculous union of music and drama, a masterpiece as profound philosophically as it is thrilling theatrically.
Shakespeare’s Othello, a tale of an outsider, a great hero who cannot control his jealousy, was carefully moulded into a taut and powerful opera text by librettist Arrigo Boito. Otello almost wasn’t written: following the success of Aida and his setting of the Requiem mass in the early 1870s, Verdi considered himself retired, and it took Boito and publisher Giulio Ricordi several years to persuade him to take on a major new work.
Sixth Belgrade Irish Festival
The sixth edition of the Belgrade Irish Festival (BIF), which will be held from 9th to 18th March, under the slogan “Springtime in Belgrade!”, will present elements of Ireland’s fascinating culture at numerous locations in Belgrade.
The festival’s programme is inspired by the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which 2018 was proclaimed by the European Parliament, so the public can expect to see the latest and most significant films from Ireland, lectures and exhibitions, concerts, theatrical performances, workshops and other attractive cultural events, as well as a series of interesting gastronomic events.
On 10th March, Belgrade’s Elektropionir club will host one of the most famous Irish singer-songwriters, Mundy, who has produced platinum-selling albums in Ireland and extremely popular songs. The BIF will also mark the 100th anniversary of World War I on 14th March with a lecture on the participation of the 10th Irish Division on the Thessaloniki Front, with lecturers from the University of Dublin and the University of Belgrade. There is also the “Borderlands” exhibition by renowned Irish photographer Nigel Swann, as well as a BIF photo contest. The winner of the competition can expect to receive a valuable prize.
This year, thanks to the BIF, the Serbian capital will also join other world metropolises in marking the holiday in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Day, during which several locations in the city, including Ada Bridge, will be illuminated with Irish-green lighting.
10 – Terazije Theatre
Theatrical blockbuster “The Producers” premiered on Broadway in 2001 and has since broken numerous recordings in viewer figures and earnings. Voted the show of the year on multiple occasions, this musical has also broken the record for the number of Tony Awards won (as many as 12), which was held for 37 years by the show “Hello, Dolly!”. It is performed in more than 15 world languages, including, since 2011, Serbian! The show was created on the basis of Mel Brooks’ eponymous 1968 film and the 2005 remake (Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane and Uma Thurman) contributed even more to the show’s planetary success. The Producers premiered at Terazije Theatre in February 2011. This March will see the ensemble, led by Nebojša Dugalić and Slobodan Stefanović, celebrate the 100th performance! For more information, visit pozoristeterazije.com
15th Francophone Song Competition
Belgrade: Saturday 3rd March – 6pm, National Library of Serbia
Kladovo: Saturday 3rd March – 5pm, City Culture Centre
Niš: Saturday 3rd March – 1pm, Symphony Orchestra Hall
Novi Sad: Saturday 3rd March – 4pm, City Culture Centre
And, most importantly, don’t miss the final of the Francophone Song Competition (15th edition), which will be held at the Niš National Theatre on Sunday, 25th March, at 2pm.
The competition is organised by the French Institute, in partnership with the Students’ Culture Centre of Niš, and with the support of the International Organisation of La Francophonie and the Embassy of Canada in Serbia.
The Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia in Serbia has taken care of the prize for first place in the junior competition, providing a trip for two to Tunisia and tickets to the 2018 Music Festival. The first prize in the senior competition is a trip for two to France and tickets for the 2018 Music Festival. This award is a gift from the French region of Gironde and Niš-based travel agency Mondorama.
Vasko Atanasovski Trio & Vasil Hadžimanov
10 – Soul Society – 22.00
Vasko Atanasovski is an internationally renowned artist whose portfolio includes collaborations with musicians like Tommy Emanuel, Living Color and Hindi Zahra. Many years of experience have led to his sound being marked by a variety of musical styles and authenticity. At the concert in the Belgrade Soul Society (Mira Trailović Square), this trio will be joined by one of Serbia’s most important and interesting contemporary jazz musicians, who featured on the list of the world’s best jazz artists in 2017. The musician in question is, of course, Vasil Hadžimanov, who has long since singled himself out as one of the first composers in this region to combine traditional Balkan folk rhythms and modern Western music styles (jazz, funk, rock, world music) in his own completely authentic way.
Phantom of the Opera
14,21,30 – Terazije Theatre
The story in the musical “The Phantom of the Opera” begins on a night of triumph for opera singer Christine on a gala dinner to celebrate the retirement of the aged manager. At the time there are rumours circling the theatre that a phantom is living in the opera house and showing his presence by writing letters. Things culminate when a large chandelier falls to the stage during the premiere performance of “Faust” and the main singer is left without a voice, which makes it clear to everyone that the phantom is present. Christine, a beautiful soprano, becomes the obsession of this mysterious musical genius. The Phantom of the Opera musical has to date been performed in 15 world languages in 35 countries and seen by around 140 million people worldwide.
For more information, visit pozoristeterazije.com
Guitar Art Festival
The nineteenth edition of the Guitar Art Festival will be held from 16th to 21st March, under the slogan “BE CONNECTED”.
Friday, 16th March | 20.00 Belgrade Youth Centre (Great Hall) Assad Brothers – Sérgio & Odair Assad (Brazil)
Saturday, 17th March | 12:00 – 24:00 Republic Square Belgrade Guitar Day Michael Hill’s Blues Mob Trio (U.S.)
Sunday, 18th March Belgrade Youth Centre (Great Hall)
18:00 Duo Mushalica (Serbia)
19:00 Joaquin Clerch (Cuba)
21:00 Puerto Flamenco (Spain)
Monday,19th March Belgrade Youth Centre (Great Hall)
18:00 Duo Melis – Susana Prieto & Alexis Muzurakis (Greece)
19:00 Pacho Flores & Jesús “Pingüino” González (Argentina)
21:00 Balkan, Mediterranean Orient – Srđan Bulatović & Darko Nikčević Ensemble (Montenegro)
Tuesday, 20th March | 20:00 Sava Centre Dulce Pontes (Portugal)
Wednesday, 21st March | 20:00 Kolarac Endowment Hall Péter Girán INTEGRATION II Nejc Kuhar & Aleksandar Sedlar World Guitar Orchestra Youth Symphony Orchestra El Sistema El Sistema
Bajo la duna
23 – Instituto Cervantes – 17.00
Bajo la Duna is a documentary film dealing with Phoenician archaeology in Cádiz. It contains previously unpublished images of discoveries and addresses some of the most significant archaeological achievements in this city, among which is the finding of Phoenician sarcophagi that are now museum exhibits. The film includes an impressive group of research associates and advisers, including professors Ramon Kors and Eduard Ferrer, archaeologists Francisco Alarcon, Francisco Blanca and Anhel Munjos, director of the Museum of Juan Ramón Ramires and Antonio Alvarez, and historian Manuel Parodi. “Below the Dune” reveals new details and individual elements of the archaeology of the ancient Spanish city of Cádiz in recent decades, simultaneously revealing anecdotes and the feelings of participants at the very moment of discovery.
28 March – 1 April – Belgrade Youth Centre
The exhibition encompasses more than 110 original graphic works of art, from artists such as: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, John Chamberlain and Tom Wesselmann.
Despite being held for the 65th consecutive year, making it the oldest film festival in Southeast Europe and one of the world’s oldest, the Martovski Festival is confronted by the same question every year: is it necessary, alongside so many others offered by Belgrade?
The festival last year became a national competitive selection of feature-length and short documentary films, animated film, experimental and feature films, becoming the place where only domestic films created in the last year compete. Local filmmakers had the opportunity to meet significant foreign producers, festival selectors and television editors, leading to the first deals for screening our films on European televisions.
The Martovski Festival continues in the same direction this year – towards being a platform for the promotion of domestic short, documentary, animated and experimental film – promoting works among other European film industries, as well as popularising the featured works among the domestic film audience.
In five festival days, from 28th March to 1st April, in all areas of the Belgrade Youth Centre, the Martovski Festival will offer, alongside an extremely competitive selection of domestic films picked on the basis of more than 3,000 entries, and special screenings of the world’s best documentaries during the evenings, celebratory retrospectives and the commemorating of the great anniversaries of the work of – the Faculty of Dramatic Arts (70 years), Radio-Television Serbia, RTS (60 years) and Zastava Film (80 years), as well as the work of the world’s most controversial production of documentaries – VICE.
The festival offers a retrospective of Ruth Beckermann, Austria’s most important female filmmaker, but also numerous practical workshops and exciting discussions about the secrets of film production for both professionals and enthusiasts. Film consultations will again be organised for anyone has an idea for making a film, while an animated film workshop will also be organised for the youngest. There is ample reason to conclude that we need the Martovski Festival, and even more reasons for us to see you in the Belgrade Youth Centre at the end of March!