The International Festival of Children’s Theatres was founded in 1994, upon decision of the Assembly of the City of Subotica, as a permanent event of an international character with the official selection consisting of home and foreign productions for children up to eighteen years of age. The Festival is held each year in the last week of the month of September, during six days.
The aims set at the time of its establishment became the framework of its further development, and those were:
- to present the most valuable and artistically most relevant theatre accomplishments for children in home and foreign production;
- to contribute to promotion of new and further recognition of already realized cultural values on the international ground;
- to bring nations closer and preserve diversities of each culture as the source of our common wealth;
- to develop desire for mutual friendships;
- to provide exchange of experiences and make creative connections;
- to assert theatre life for children and culture in general;
- to provide for the audience in Serbia diverse international programmes for children and young people of different age and social status.
Besides the core activity, the Festival as a cultural and business association includes also the following within its scope:
- production and placement of theatrical creations;
- organisation of visiting performances of theatres and ensembles from the country abroad and from abroad in Serbia;
- organisation of education of different profiles of staff needed in theatres for children through seminars and other forms of professional training;
- exhibition activities.
Financial means for realisation of the International Festival of Children’s Theatres are provided by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, AP Vojvodina Provincial Secretariat of Culture and the Assembly of the City of Subotica, while substantial support is also given by the embassies, foreign cultural centres, sponsors and donors.
International Festival of Children’s Theatres is not a separate legal entity, and the production of the Festival is entrusted to the Open University Subotica, LLC with one full-time employee occupying position of the Festival executive manager being engaged in preparation, organisation and realisation of the Festival, while the necessary assistance is provided by other Open University employees and numerous part-time associates.
The Festival is managed by the Festival Council and director. The Council is composed of nine members, three being appointed by the founder, three by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Serbia, two by the Provincial Secretariat of Culture while one post within the Council is reserved for the representative of the strategic partner of the Festival. The Council members’ mandate is four years, with the right to be re-elected and re-appointed for more mandates.
The Festival Council elects the Council president and vice-president from among its members at its constitutive session. The Festival director and selector are appointed by the Council according to the executive producer’s proposal to a four-year term.
Festival programmes are held at various city venues, in theatres, cinemas, schools, galleries, in the open air, but also out of the city, in many places throughout Serbia and beyond its borders, in neighbouring Hungary.
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Members of the Festival Council 2014-2018*:
- Ljubivoje Ršumović, writer and poet, Belgrade (President)
- Zoran Maksimović, MA, theatre historian and theoretician, director of the Theatre Museum of Vojvodina, Novi Sad (Vice President)
- Miroslava Babić, member of the Subotica City Council in charge of culture**
- Márta Árokszállási, actress, director of Subotica Children’s Theatre
- Igor Bojović, dramaturge, artistic director of Pinokio Puppet Theatre, Zemun
- Gordana Đurđević, journalist, editor of the radio programme ‘Cultural Circles: Masks’, Radio Belgrade 2
- Miroslav Radonjić, MA, theatre theoretician and critic, Novi Sad
- András Urbán, director, general manager of Dezső Kosztolányi Theatre and Desire Festival, Subotica
* Members of the new Festival Council were appointed by the Assembly of the City of Subotica at its 18th session held on 20th February 2014.
** Since 2016.
Festival Director and Selector: Slobodan Marković*
* Elected unanimously by the Festival Council at the constitutive meeting held on 2nd April 2014.