Sibila Petlevski

March 18th, 2013 // news

Respected directorate of the International Chamber Theatre Festival “Golden Lion”,

in two years of collaboration with your festival in the function of the jury member, I had the opportunity to get to know more closely the organization and production aspects of your work, and I can say I’m profoundly impressed with the high level of the festival professionalism you have shown.

Since I have many years of experience in organizing international meetings, conferences and festivals in the area of literature and culture in the broadest sense, I’m familiar with the challenges, problems and tasks of the so-called program management, and instead of the usual courtesies thanks to a successful business partnership, I want to share with you the thoughts on the contribution of your festival program to the domestic culture because I believe that compliments regarding organizational, program and other successfully realized segments of festival events, in my opinion, deserve a more detailed description and explanation. I consider it necessary especially because the production aspects of cultural events in Croatia are not always so skillfully and competently achieved as it is in case of your festival.

The festival is conceptually innovative. It is based on the idea of coexistence among three nations – Croatian, Slovenian and Italian – living in the border area and witnessing the predestined necessity to transcend borders, the desire for an unencumbered spread of ideas and artistic practice resulting in the enlargement of the horizon and achievement of multiple benefits for the community:

  1. ideas are born in the field of artistic creativity;
  2. social tolerance and coexistence are promoted;
  3. the Croatian theatre scene is enriched;
  4. a platform for cross-border collaborative projects and programs is created;
  5. drama and theatre arts are popularized;
  6. the public is informed and educated, and thus extends the tive bases and creates quality market of artistic supply and demand;
  7. the tourist offer of the region is expanded and enriched.

The clearly articulated critical concepts of the Festival under the leadership of the artistic director Damir Zlatar Frey remain open, which represents a special virtue of the program concept; indulge in challenges of new performances including all chamber theatre possibilities, from great theatres’ productions to non-institutionalized theatre ensembles and experimental theatre formations.

The festival concept with years of work and more than a decade of successful festival organization is increasingly expanding and internationalizing. Such a development necessarily has led to more complex managerial and production tasks and duties transforming the International Chamber Theatre Festival Golden Lion in a complex program which includes a range of project components, each demanding in realization, and which together form an organic whole.

We must specially congratulate the festival producer Marko Fereni for the work done, who gathered a rather small, but efficient and competent group of collaborators and achieved an exemplary festival program management at the level of the best world festivals with a much larger infrastructure network, huge number of collaborators and provided financial support available.

When it comes to financial support in times of crisis, we should bear in mind that leveling projects by key “to everyone a little bit” never leads to the desired results and in the long run the savings which equate large and relevant programs for the community and small, poorly conceived projects that have yet to prove – necessarily leads to the paradox that the saved money has actually been thrown away.

The Festival Golden Lion represents a program which in more than a decade of its existence proved to be a successful domestic-urban, regional, national and international program that contributes to the Croatian cultural scene, and as such should enter the list of funding priorities.

Finally, I want to express my satisfaction with another important segment of the festival organization, and this is the creating of atmosphere of another summer hot spots of cultural events that could soon rank Umag, of course with the adequate evaluation of project scope of the Golden Lion, among the most interesting tourist destinations on the map of Europe.

With a great thanks for the successful co-operation,

Sibila Petlevski, Professor at Academy of Dramatic Art,

University of Zagreb

Zagreb, 11th august 2011

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