Closing the Fifth Edition of HFestival

Photo: Ruzica Milovanovic

On Saturday, 15th December, the fifth edition of HFestival was closed by Drasko Adzic’s applied music concert. The concert was held at the atrium of the National Museum, and besides Drasko Adzic, it included the performances by Mirjana Karanovic, Branko Cvejic, Jovana Gavrilovic, Alban Ukaj, Lidija Kordic and Goran Jevtic; Luka Lopicic (accordion), Veljko Nenadic (piano); Belgrade Philharmonic String Quartet: Jelena Dragnic, Vladan Loncar, Boris Brezovac, Aleksandar Latkovic; and students of ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Music Arts: Milica Radic, Jelena Andjelkovic, Tanja Vuckovic and Emilija Dacevac. 

 The festival was opened on Monday, 10th December, with Fadil Sarki’s photo exhibition “The Paths of Despair” at the Yugoslav Film Archive. On the same evening, theatre “Hotel Bulic” performed “Nora – A Doll’s House” in Bitef theater, presenting us with a contemporary contextualized reading of Ibsen’s classic, directed by Senka Bulic. Within the theatrical program of HFestival, the audience at Center for Cultural Decontamination could also see already well-known performance “Finger”, directed by Ana Tomovic and written by Doruntina Basha. 

During the festival, the audience also had a chance to see four films from this year’s edition of Sarajevo Film Festival, from the program called “Dealing with the Past”. This program includes films revolving around the recent war past and uses films as a tool for discussion and overcoming the conflicts. The HFestival audience could see “Srbenka”, “Chris the Swiss”, “The Other Side of Everything” and “Occupation 1968”. Within the HFestival, Heartefact and Sarajevo Film Festival have also opened the contest “The Truth Fair”, awarding the best directorial concept regarding the war stories that haven’t been filmed yet. 

During the festival, we have also organized a program within the “Children of the Nineties” project. This project maps the political views and needs of the youth born in the 1990s. After a successful first season published on the Remarker Media platform, during the HFestival, we hosted a debate/media appearance training under the mentorship of Marko Cirovic. The attendees later participated in filming the debates revolving around the freedom of speech, migrant’s position and position of women in Serbia. 

The central event of this year’s festival edition was the NEW Conference: The Future of Performing Arts in Serbia – Perspectives and Challenges, which hosted numerous experts from diverse sectors of performing arts, from all across the country. The conference included three thematic panels – one devoted to institutions, one to independent scene and one to festival politics and practices. The fourth panel, “Rapporteur’s Note”, was delivered by young dramatic practitioners who gave us a short overview of all the other panels. The conference was marked by a debating atmosphere, exchange of opinions and identifying the key issues in the field of performing arts in Serbia. 

On Friday, Heartefact has announced the winners of its seventh regional contest for the best contemporary engaged play. The Jury members, Zanina Mircevska, Biljana Srbljanovic and Alban Ukaj, unanimously chose “Muskat Flowers Can Survive It All” by Iva Brdar as the winning play. The Jury has also awarded “Survival” by Mina Ciric and Jasmina Vencanski and “Deadline” by Bogdan Spanjevic. Juries Special Mentions go to “A Class Above” by Dora Golub and “You Take It All From Home” by Emina Omerovic. On this occasion, we have also organized a public reading of the winning play and presented the NEW masterclass program.