SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA:  In a packed press conference, the winners of the 51th annual International theatre festival MESS Sarajevo were announced. The top prize-winners were Germany’s Stefan Kaegi of Rimini Protokoll for his diamond-like theatrical exploration of the lives of the muezzins of Egypt, Radio Muezzin.  The award for Best Director went to Oliver Frljić, the Serbian director whose staging of When Father Was Away on Business was simply breathtaking. The International Critics prize went to Serbian director Selma Spahić and ensamble of performance Hypermnesia.

Rimini Protokoll's Radio Muezzin | Photograph byAmer Kuhinja
Rimini Protokoll's Radio Muezzin | Photograph byAmer Kuhinja

Here is the full list of this year’s winners:

Grand Prix – Golden Laurel Wreath Award for Best Performance
“Radio Muezzin,” Stefan Kaegi, Rimini Protokoll

Golden Laurel Wreath Award for Best Director
Oliver Frljić, “When Father was Away on Business

Golden Laurel Wreath Award for Best Actor/Actress
Toni Servillo, “Sconcerto“
Hana Selimović,”When Father was Away on Business“

Silver Laurel Wreath Award for Best Performance in the World MESS category
“Gardenia“, Alain Platel & Frank van Laecke, Les Ballet C de la B
Silver Laurel Wreath Award for Best Performance in the Mittel Europa category
“When Father was Away on Business”, Atelje 212

Silver Laurel Wreath Award for Best Performance in the Future MESS category
“Dies Irae – 5 episodes about the end of the species”, Teatro Sotterraneo

Silver Laurel Wreath Award for Best Performance in the Children MESS category
“Book of Wandering“, Malo pozorište Duško Radović, Beograd

“Rejhan Demirdžić” Award for Best Young Actor
Enes Salković for roles in performances “In seasrch of the colour of chestnut” and “Letter from 1920”

“Jurislav Korenić“ Award for Best Young Actor
Anica Tomić za režiju predstave “Menagerie,” HKD Rijeka

The Special Jury Award goes to choreographer  Edward Clug for performance “Rosas for Anne Teresa/Football Stories“ and to composer Giorgio Battistelli for performance “Sconcerto“.

Apart from the official awards presented by the MESS Festival Jury, the following awards provided by the MESS Festival media sponsors were also given out:

Dnevni Avaz – “The Avaz Dragon Award” – “Gardenia”
The “Dani” Magazine – “Brave New World” Award – “Translunar paradise”
Radio Sarajevo – “Sound of MESS“ – “Radio Muezzin”

The “Key of the Tmača” Award, presented by the “Tmača Art” Magazine
“When I Was Dead”, Diego de Brea, SNG Drama Ljubljana

The members of the MESS Sarajevo jury were Fernando de Ita (Mexico), Nurullah Tuncer (Turkey) and Gordana Boban (B&H). For the first time, the festival had a jury representing the International Association Theatre Critics (IATC)  with members Ian Herbert (UK), Randy Gener (USA), and Bojan Munjin (Croatia).

According to the popular votes of the audience, the best plays at this year’s MESS were “Translunar Paradise” (9,69) and “Book of Wandering” (9,71) in Children MESS competition.

The MESS dedicated its most significant award, the “Golden Laurel Wreath Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Art of Theatre” to Katarina Kocka, ballet dancer, Žarko Mijatović from Bosnian National Theatre Zenica and Yugoslav Drama Theatre from Belgrade. The “Marko Kovačević” Award for Theatre Criticism was presented to Gradimir Gojer.

This year, Festival established new award, Golden Laurel Wreath for Support and Development of Performing Arts and awarded it to Edin Arslanagić, general manager of Bosnalijek, company that supports Festival MESS for 15 years, being third year in a row its general sponsor.

"Hypermnesia" | Photograph by Branimir Prijak
"Hypermnesia" | Photograph by Branimir Prijak

One thought on “Germany’s Rimini Protokoll seizes grand prize of MESS Sarajevo International Theater Festival

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