Theatres

Slovene Puppetry Biennial

22. 05. 2022

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Bienale slovenskih lutkarjev

Draveljska 44 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Every two years, the Slovene Puppetry Biennial examines the state of Slovene puppetry, choosing and presenting the best works created in the preceding two-year period. Featuring both major puppetry institutions as well as the many small puppetry groups from Slovenia, it includes small- and large-scale performances aimed at both children and adult audiences. Utilising various puppetry genres, techniques and aesthetics, a special focus is set on the theatrical elements intrinsic to puppetry.

The biennial aims to present Slovene puppetry to the broader domestic and foreign expert public, such as selectors, organisers and directors of foreign festivals and theatres, theatre critics, etc. Each year, the latter are explicitly invited by the festival.

Background

The festival was established in 2001 by the Puppetry Artists Institution of Slovenia, who now run it together the Maribor Puppet Theatre. The latter acts as the main venue, though other venues such as GT22 are also used.

The biennial was launched in place of the earlier puppetry festival, Klemenčič’s Days. The first 2 biennials took place at the Maribor Puppet Theatre and featured about 15 performances. The 2005 edition took place at Koper Theatre, at Praetorian Palace in Koper, and in the Koper Regional Museum. The 2009 festival took place in Ljubljana and Maribor and also presented its events across Slovenia’s borders, in Carinthia, Austria. In 2011, it returned to be hosted mainly at the Maribor Puppet Theatre.

Programme

The programme of puppet shows comprises two parts, one competitive, and one accompanying. Together, they usually present somewhere around 15–20 performances. The other part of the accompanying programme includes exhibitions of puppets and stage sets, round-table discussions, book presentations, film screenings and photo documentation exhibitions, plus some additional high-quality performances aimed at young audiences.

An international expert jury confers the Slovene Puppetry Biennial Prizes, awarding one Grand Prix for the best performance and various prizes for other dimensions of puppetry (visual concept, animation, puppetry technology, music, direction, original approach, etc.).

Film

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe)

10. 11. - 21. 11. 2021

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Ljubljanski filmski festival (LIFFe)

Prešernova 10 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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The Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) was launched in 1990 as the Film Art Festival Ljubljana. The festival is organised by the Film Department of the Cankarjev dom Cultural and Congress Centre, but films are also screened at Slovenian Cinematheque, Kinodvor Cinema, Komuna Cinema, Bežigrad Cinema, Maribox, Metropol Cinema Celje and APT Novo mesto. It can be classified as a specialised competitive festival that not only features an overview of contemporary world film production but also focuses on emerging directors and new trends in contemporary cinema.

Background

For many years, the programme director of the festival was Jelka Stergel, but Simon Popek has successfully succeeded her, bringing a clearer cinephile touch to the festival in the last few years. Although the festival’s selection is now maybe less commercial than before, the festival audience is still growing. With close to 50,000 tickets sold, the LIFFe is the biggest event in Cankarjev dom’s yearly programme and also one of the biggest cultural events in Slovenia. Another reason for the growing interest is the inclusion of international guests (directors, actors, producers, etc.) who visit the festival each year. In the past years, some well-known directors and actors have visited LIFFe, including Hal Hartley, Eric Zonca, Aleksei German, Jr., James Benning, Burghart Klaußner, Vlad Ivanov, Abel Ferrara and others.

Sections and awards

Ljubljana International Film Festival (LIFFe) focuses on young filmmakers in its main competitive section – Perspectives. The section offers a thoughtful selection of first and second feature films from emerging young directors who have had their international première at important film festivals around the world. The best film, selected by a three-member international jury, is bestowed with the Kingfisher Award (introduced in 1996). The second competitive section is named World in Short and screens short films by young filmmakers.

Other sections of the LIFFe programme: the Avant-premières section – which includes major international productions from established directors that will be screened later in the commercial distribution; the King and Queens section – bringing a variety of works by renowned and awarded masters of contemporary cinema; the World Film Panorama – meant for festival favourites from all over the world; the Extravaganza section – bringing the so-called “midnight cinema” to fans of daring, bizarre and titillating contents of diverse genres; the Focus section – offering an insight into one (or more) of the hottest national cinematographies; the Retrospective section – offering an overall presentation of the work by an important contemporary filmmaker; the Tribute section – bringing a short, condensed presentation of an author. The Kinobalon section is dedicated to the youngest audience as it offers a selection of films for children aged 7 to 14, carefully selected with the help of the Kinodvor Cinema staff.

At LIFFe, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) also has its own three-member jury and it selects the best film from all the works in the programme. Their award is called the FIPRESCI Award and with it, they usually promote a fresh and innovative approach mostly (but not exclusively) among young or unknown filmmakers. The audience award is called the Dragon Award (first introduced in 2000 as the Golden Reel Award) and can be bestowed to any film on the programme; the winning film is later also commercially distributed in Slovenian cinemas. Between 2005 and 2007, LIFFe also presented the Amnesty International Award (granted by Amnesty International Slovenia) but the award was moved to the International Documentary Film Festival.

Facts and numbers

For several years now, the number of screened films exceeds 100 and approximately 10% of those are shorts. Around 250 official screenings take place each year; while just a little less than 50,000 tickets are sold. The festival is followed by around 180 domestic and foreign journalists (the number of foreign journalists is still small but it is growing each year).

International activities

The Ljubljana International Film Festival is also an active member of many international bodies and associations like Europa Cinemas; the Association of European Film Exhibitors, Paris; the European Co-ordination of Film Festivals (ECFF), Brussels; and the Motion Pictures Association, Brussels.

Multidisciplinary

Pika’s Festival

10. 09. - 15. 09. 2021

Velenje

CONTACTS

Pikin festival

Titov trg 4 SI-3320 , Velenje

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Established in 1990, Pika’s Festival is the most popular event in Velenje and the largest children’s festival that attracts its audience from all over Slovenia. Although planned from the outset as an event for children, it is also popular with parents and teachers. Since 2008 it has been organised by the newly established municipal Velenje Festival Institute.

The festival is named after the heroine Pippi Longstocking (Swedish Pippi Langstrump, Slovene Pika Nogavička), a fictional character in a series of children’s books created by author Astrid Lindgren. The spirit of Pippi/Pika as an unconventional and extraordinary strong heroine pervades the festival in Velenje, which aims to develop the imaginations of children as well as adults. Humanity and tolerance towards diversity and otherness is also encouraged. The educational component of the project relates to culture as well as ecology, ethnology, anthropology, new media and technologies.

Pika’s Festival features exhibitions, theatre, dance and puppet performances, concerts and workshops. The festival’s programme is a unique combination of Slovene professional (Mladinsko Theatre, Ljubljana Puppet Theatre, Mini Theatre), amateur (Loški oder Theatre) or local (Celje Dance Forum, Velenje Puppet Theatre) performing groups and artists. It is supported by the Municipality of Velenje but also generates income through donations, sponsorship, grants, and sales.

Music

Nights in Old Ljubljana Town

26. 08. - 28. 08. 2021

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Noči v stari Ljubljani

Gornji trg 16 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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A companion festival to the Summer in Old Ljubljana Town, the Nights in Old Ljubljana Town has been organised since 1988 by Imago Sloveniae. Its primarily classical music-oriented programme is accompanied with a strong selection of jazz, ethno, chanson, tango, klezmer, and other music of this vein. It also encompasses scientific conferences and lectures on music, literature and poetry readings, social dance gatherings (salsa, tango, swing, etc.), and various happenings for children like puppet theatre shows and workshops.

The festival is traditionally presented in the last week of August. The concerts are held at a dozen different, mostly open-air locations in the old city centre, each of them having a specific programme concept (for example, the stage in front of the City Hall – large ensembles, orchestras, and big bands; Gornji trg – avant-garde jazz, etc.)

Programme

The breadth of the festival makes it hard to pin down. Basically, it is forefronts an international selection of contemporary creative endeavours in jazz, chanson, and various takes on traditional musics from all over the world. Its programme is sometimes knit around a concept, like when it focused on accordion in 2012, staging its various applications in a variety of musical forms (this featured Simone Zanchini (IT), Miodrag Spasić (RS), Rhythm & Blues Resistance (HR), Bratko Bibič & The Madleys, Janez Dovč, Jure Tori, and some others).

Other guests of the festival include Barcelona Gipsy Klezmer Orchestra (ES), Tran Quang Haij (VN), Alwan Trio (EG), Lasanthi (LK), Global Culture Nasu (JP), Donauwellenreiter (AT/IT), The Hungarian National Gypsy Orchestra (HU), Bakalina, Uršula Ramoveš in Fantje z Jazbecove grape, Vlado Kreslin, Orlek, Lolita, and numerous others. A part of the line-up is sometimes programmed in collaboration with institutions like Radio Slovenia Third Channel – ARS and Radio Študent (RŠ).

The project also includes literary events, art exhibitions, dance performances, milonga evenings, and different art workshops and round tables, which in the past have been hosted in co-production with the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana, the Folk Slovenia Cultural Society, Radio Študent (RŠ), the Department of Musicology, University of Ljubljana, the Institute of Musicology, the International Council for Traditional Music (ICTM), Slovenia, and a number of others.

Multidisciplinary

Sonica International Festival of Transitory Art

27. 09. - 2. 10. 2021

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Sonica International Festival of Transitory Art

Rožna dolina cesta II/36 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Sonica is a festival of (electronic) music as well as sound and experimental art. In a way, it is conceived as a showcase of the annual programme produced by the hyperactive MoTA Museum of Transitory Art. Its experimental nature questions exhibition and staging formats, crossing borders between art and theory, object and performance. Sonica was launched in the year 2009.

In the past, Sonica has presented artists like Tim Hecker, Rashad Becker, Emptyset, Marina Rosenfeld, Herman Kolgen, Ryoichi Kurokawa and Random Logic.

Festival format, venues and residents

Sonica is an attempt to transform a classical exhibition space into a field of events, performances, workshops, and lectures. It is a temporary laboratory established on the crossing of visual art, media and sound art and research, consisting of production and research residencies, exhibitions, performances, and public interventions, with a special focus on public presentations and talks.

The festival traditionally utilises different Ljubljana venues like for example Kino Šiška Centre for Urban Culture, the Museum of Modern Art, Cankarjev dom, Cultural and Congress Centre, the MoTA Point/LAB, the Slovenian Cinematheque, Tovarna Rog, and Klub K4.

New media art

Speculum Artium Festival

22. 09. - 24. 09. 2022

Trbovlje

CONTACTS

Speculum Artium, festival novomedijske umetnosti

Trg svobode 11a SI-1420 , Trbovlje

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Established in 2008, the Speculum Artium Festival is an annual venture into the field of new media arts and contemporary techno-culture that takes place in the industrial town of Trbovlje. Delving into territories such as information technology, robotics, bio-mechanics and virtual reality, the festival tries to act as an intermediary between art, technology and society.

A part of the Trbovlje, New Media Setting initiative, Speculum Artium is organised by Delavski dom Trbovlje Cultural Centre (DDT). As of 2010, the festival runs a special sub-programme – the video art festival DigitalBigScreen.

Concept

Speculum Artium presents not only various new media productions but also strives to establish a critical reflection of the contemporary society and of its political and technological conditions.

The name Speculum Artium refers to a theoretical text by the Austrian artist, curator and theoretician, Peter Weibel. In his text titled the The Post-Media Condition (2005, see link below), he writes about the nature of the “relationship between art and politics which can be expressed as the speculum artium, or the mirror of art”. In line with Weibel’s theory, the festival treats new media technologies as potentially highly emancipatory spheres.

Each year, the festival is structured around a particular concept. Some concepts have been “Art and Science to Empower”; “Reality Under Surveillance”; “Integrity of Reality”; and “Exit Strategy – Art or Technicism”.

Background

The festival was initially set up as a collaborative project under the supervision of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, featuring also the ArtNetLab society, the Academy Of Fine Arts Prague, and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. It was held in the City Art Gallery Ljubljana.

In 2009 (with Peter Weibel curating the festival) it moved to its current abode, the Delavski dom Trbovlje.

Programme

Speculum Artium often invites or works with various curators (such as Herwig Steiner from Vienna, Srečo Dragan from Ljubljana, and Michaela Ortner from Linz). Together, they not only present emerging new media practices around the world but also set up talks and presentations by scientists (such as Hiroshi Ishiguro, who brought along his android double, and the crew from Honda Robotics, presenting their robot ASIMO) and theoreticians (such as Leon Žlajpah from Jožef Stefan Institute and Polona Tratnik).

Some of the invited artists have been Stelarc, ARART, Dorcas Müller, Brigitta Zics, The Awkwardstra, Be another lab, Christoph Schwarz, Julian Palacz, Andrej Koruza, Reinhard Gupfinger, Travis Kirton, Stefan Doepner, Maša Jazbec, Group V.A.T., and Tiago Martins.

The festival usually also includes an exhibition of student artworks, reflecting the issues of contemporary society by way of audio and video installations and interactive projects. It has a rich accompanying programme with performances, happenings, workshops and concerts (hosting, for example, Laibach, KIBLA Multimedia Centre, KID PiNA, Open Lab, and the Interface Culture Univerza from Linz).

DigitalBigScreen

The festival DigitalBigScreen was founded in 2010 and later incorporated into Speculum Artium as its sub-programme. Its main idea to screen video art in a movie theatre with a big cinematic screen (using a digital Sony KA4 projector), thus offering contemporary visual practices a very powerful venue. DigitalBigScreen also makes possible the transmission of the submitted works into the Slovenian Art Cinema Network, therefore also reaching audiences that rarely have access to such content.

The submissions for the festival come from all over the world. Usually they are judged by an international expert committee which bestows awards for the best video. However, the programme of the festival varies from year to year, with, for example, the focus in 2017 being the Fluxfilm Anthology.

Collaborations

Speculum Artium often invites various art academies and education and research institutions to participate in its programme. Beside the aforementioned protagonists, the festival has worked with the Faculty of Computer and Information Science, Ljubljana, the Arts Academy of the University of Nova Gorica, the Jožef Stefan Institute, the University of Tokyo, the University of Art and Design in Linz, and others.

Theatres

Linhart Encounter

22. 09. - 24. 09. 2022

Postojna

CONTACTS

Linhartova srečanja

Gregorčičev drevored 2a SI-6230, Postojna

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Named after the celebrated Slovene dramatist and historian Anton Tomaž Linhart (1756–1795), Linhart Encounter is an annual festival of non-professional Slovene theatre groups, organised by the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of the Republic of Slovenia since 1962. Held in Postojna since 2004, Linhart Encounter presents an overview of amateur theatre production, with an aim to popularise and award the best production and achievements of the current season (Matiček Award).

In its (competition and side) programme, the festival includes performances of all genres and formats. The performances are selected by a selector who travels to see all the potentially eligible performances and then invites 6 to 8 of them (out of over 120) to the festival along with the best performance of the Visions Festival of Young Theatre Groups. Along with Slovene amateur theatre groups, performances by Slovene minorities living in Austria, Croatia, Hungary or elsewhere are eligible for the festival. Participation in the Linhart Encounter enables the groups to raise the quality of their work, network and exchange as well as to develop their ideas further.

In the side programme, the festival offers round tables, discussions and workshops, as well as hosts international amateur theatre groups. The international jury confers the Matiček Awards for the best performance, best actor and best actress in the lead and supporting roles, and may confer up to 3 awards for special achievements. At the festival, the Public Fund for Cultural Activities of the Republic of Slovenia also presents the “Linhart Badge” for outstanding achievements in non-professional theatre.

Music

Orto Fest

10. 09. - 24. 09. 2021

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Orto fest

Grablovičeva 1 SI-1000 , Ljubljana

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Established in 1999 and regularly held since 2001, Orto Fest is an ambitious festival with a wide ranging scope of its musical programme. It takes place in Orto Bar, a legendary bar for rock aficionados, and is usually held throughout the whole of May. Even though rock music is its predominant sound, the festival also offers pop(-rock), metal, hip hop, and folk acts. Besides regularly staging foreign musicians, who are coming from all over the world, the festival mostly hosts Slovene musicians and its yearly selection always features a combination of some older, cult artists with a showing of what is currently happening on the different local music scenes.

Hosted musicians

Of the foreign musicians that have rocked the stage of Orto Fest, one can name the metal bands Darkness, Agent Steel, Undying, Corpus Christii, and Unholy Inquisition, the punk rockers Hanson Brothers and Agnostic Front, the Croatian rappers General Woo and Diyala, and the rock bands Arabrot, The Little Killers, The Jessica Fletchers, Los Explosivos, Bambi Molesters, Kud Idijoti, The Strange, Stone Orange, and Bottom.

Of the Slovene rock and pop/rock musicians, it could be said that – aside from the more alternative strands of rock – a large portion of them has been represented on the stage of Orto Fest. Some of the bands include Laibach, LeeLooJamais, Niet, Res Nullius, Hic et Nunc, Katalena, Moveknowledgement, Big Foot Mama, Naio Ssaion, Srečna mladina, Shyam, Corkscrew, Olivija, Šank Rock, Orlek, Siddharta, Tabu, Tide, Demolition Group, Werefox, Avven, Noctiferia, Neomi, Melodrom, etc.

Multidisciplinary

Sound Explicit Festival

6. 09. - 7. 09. 2021

Ljubljana

CONTACTS

Festival Sound Explicit

Hruševska 66 SI-1000, Ljubljana

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Produced by P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. Institute, the Sound Explicit Festival is an annually held series of performances that, in one way or another, challenge the conventional treatment of sound as music and art. First held in 2003, since then the festival has presented a diverse set of artistic expressions, from acoustic improvisation to experimental sound processing and multi-modal composition. The latter incorporated moving pictures, radio signals, painting, and even the human body itself.

Venues

Between 2003 and 2009, the festival was held in the P74 Centre and Gallery, with only a small part of the programme also presented in the Kapsula Gallery. After a one year hiatus, the festival continued its course in 2011 on a changed location, moving to the Jakopič Gallery.

Programme

Some of the featured artists in the course of the first decade have included: Son:DA, Brane Zorman, Lolita, Luka Prinčič, TILT, Miha Ciglar, Alzheimer Trio, Zlatko Kaučič, Bratko Bibič, Boštjan Leskovšek, Borut Savski, Cameron Borbro and Tomaž Grom. Even though the festival focuses on Slovene artists, there have also been some foreign guests hosted, among them, the artists Bernfard Mikuskovics, Stefan Doepner, Jörg Piringer, and Nikolaus Gansterer.

Music

Tartini Festival

18. 08. - 5. 09. 2022

Piran-Pirano

CONTACTS

Tartini festival

Levstikova 7 SI-6330, Piran-Pirano

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Established in 2001 the Tartini Festival is an international music festival dedicated to one of the greatest violinists of the Baroque period, the Piran-born Guiseppe Tartini (1692–1770). The programme directors and founders of the festival, Jasna Nadles and Milan Vrsajkov, strive to bring world renowned performers of Classical and Baroque music to Piran and the Slovene Istria.

Background

The festival focuses on the promotion of the cultural profile of the Istria region and the Slovene musical culture. From the beginning, the festival has presented many accomplished performers, such as cellist Erich Oskar Huetter, pianist Francesco De Zan, the Ensemble 1756, the Choir of Salzburger Konzertgesellschaft and the Vienna Instrumental Soloists (Rudolf Gindlhumer, Konrad Monsberger, Helmut Ascherl, Karl Eichinger).

In 2002, the festival started out with 4 classical music concerts and has been steadily growing each year with well-attended concerts at the main events; the Golden Tartini Festival, and open-air concerts of the Tartini Junior programme. Some of the leading Baroque musicians, such as violinist Giuliano Carmignola, bassoonist Sergio Azzolini, and cellist Christophe Coin, have appeared together for the first time at one of the festival’s main events.

In 2009, the festival’s programme featured 10 concerts within a two-week time frame, thus enhancing the festival atmosphere. 2011 marked the 10-year anniversary of the festival, featuring 8 main festival events with performances by Slovene and international master musicians, including the festival ensemble Il Terzo Suono, founded in 2005. The ensemble performs its repertoire on Baroque instruments and accompanies famous soloists at the Tartini Festival as well as other venues.


Festival Tartinijevi dnevi Piran Promo / The Days of Tartini Festival Piran Promo Official Video by Zdravko Pleše on YouTube
The Festival Ensemble Il Terzo Suono
The international ensemble Il Terzo Suono is composed of members of various international orchestras and operates under the direction of Sergio Azzolini. The ensemble has in the past 4 editions of the Tartini Festival accompanied famous soloists. The name of the ensemble, The Third Sound, is in reference to the acoustic phenomenon first discovered by Giuseppe Tartini, whereby using the technique of playing double stops on a string instrument one can hear a third sound. The ensemble tours the wider European region, increasing the visibility of the Slovene cultural scene with performances at European festivals, such as the Ravello Festival and the Emilia Romagna Festival. Preparations are under way for the recording of a CD with pieces by Slovene and European composers of the 17th and 18th century (A. Vivaldi, G. Tartini, G. Pulitti and I. Posh).

The Festival Ensemble Il Terzo Suono

The international ensemble Il Terzo Suono is composed of members of various international orchestras and operates under the direction of Sergio Azzolini. The ensemble has in the past 4 editions of the Tartini Festival accompanied famous soloists. The name of the ensemble, The Third Sound, is in reference to the acoustic phenomenon first discovered by Giuseppe Tartini, whereby using the technique of playing double stops on a string instrument one can hear a third sound. The ensemble tours the wider European region, increasing the visibility of the Slovene cultural scene with performances at European festivals, such as the Ravello Festival and the Emilia Romagna Festival. Preparations are under way for the recording of a CD with pieces by Slovene and European composers of the 17th and 18th century (A. Vivaldi, G. Tartini, G. Pulitti and I. Posh).

Festival themes and concerts

Each year the Tartini Festival is held in the Primorska region, with most events taking place in Piran. Chamber concerts and solo performances are performed at main events, featuring performances of established musicians from all over the world. The festival’s aim is to promote classical music and Tartini’s works among the local public, especially those who does not usually attend classical concerts. The side event Tartini Junior focuses on the presentation of talented young Slovene musicians, who have received awards at international contests and the main national contest TEMSIG. It highlights the Slovene musical culture with young musicians performing works by Slovene composers. Another side event, Tartini under the Stars, features open-air concerts on Tartini Square by promising young Slovene artists.