Archived: PIF – International Puppet Theater Festival


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PIF – International Puppet Theater Festival

Over its long history, PIF has presented to the public more than 870 puppet shows from 422 theaters from 48 countries from all continents. From 1994 to 2006, as part of the partner country program, he presented a number of specific puppetry traditions from almost all parts of Europe. As part of PIF's accompanying programs, external programs, presentations of books and magazines about puppetry, exhibitions of puppets from all over the world, puppet workshops, screenings of puppet films, professional symposia on puppetry and humanitarian actions are regularly organized. Many have written about PIF, and it is worth noting the words of Henryk Jurkowski, a distinguished historian of puppetry and a regular guest of PIF, who described our festival as one of the most important European festivals and a representative forum of puppetry.

Program for the 53rd PIF 2020 see HERE .

A word from the editor of the Year of Temptation and Plague program

It will be difficult to write this editorial without the use of simple words. And they cannot be avoided, because that is our reality. Everything is something on our ki. Our mouths are full of corona. The little virus has changed our lives, our thoughts and our vocabulary. We greet each other from a distance, we don’t hug, we don’t sit next to each other. We are cutting programs, pruning festivals, leaving them with only a few branches. In addition to the pandemic, Zagreb was hit by an earthquake, then a flood, and fires raged along the coast. In anticipation of other biblical plagues, however, we strive to live life.

The people of Zagreb show their cheerful spirit by boasting that they are now the first line to the sea, measuring the water level of the rivers near Britanac and Miramarska, expecting ZET to introduce a submarine and announcing the schedule of ferries on the line Jelačić plac – Črnomerec and others. Jokes about the crown filled an entire folder for me. Of these, my favorite is the one about the panda, which eats an average of twelve hours a day; since a man in quarantine eats like a panda, the term pandemic has been coined.

Such a spirit has helped puppeteers in various troubles for centuries. And there were some. They fought from the unlovable to the unlovable, often more hungry than full; they survived both plague and war and famine; they survived various censorships, both secular and ecclesiastical, which they knowingly knew how to play; from beating and bothering, though always entertaining, they developed into top artists. And PIF has survived everything, from a small festival, through difficult years when it survived only thanks to good people who received participants in their own homes, all the way to the war and the postwar period. It has managed to take place every year, so hopefully this one too. In a reduced form, though, because we had to give up some already selected theaters because of the epidemiological situation in their states, and some were… hm, a little too expensive for us. But we won't talk about money, money is a simple word. Like, after all, the problems. No problem. There are only challenges!

Even in such a small PIF, the ingenuity of puppeteers and the variety of puppet forms are amazing. Dolls take various forms. They show themselves, for example, as toys: in one play they are gentle and warm, play with the youngest children and sing songs and count them, in another they show perfect manipulation in an ironic twist, and in the third the figurines remind us of childhood because they tell the story of brave boys and their problems. The silent boy is silent because he is deaf, so the whole play, which is his story, in the unity of content and form is told with the movements of his hands and fingers, which is reminiscent of sign language. We will then see people and their shadows telling a story of remembrance together; the other story will take place before our eyes drawn on the sand. We haven't seen hands as puppets since the famous Yves Joly at the 7th PIF and Claudio Cinelli at the 18th PIF, and now we will see them again, performed by a student of the Academy of Arts and Culture. In addition to the puppets, they also play such elementary objects as egg cartons, but the puppets are also helped by sophisticated modern technology: the camera allows for an outside view and a different viewing angle. (Which would often come in handy in life.) There are, of course, classic puppets, but there are also performances without puppets, such as the response to the corona situation and again a student with AUK. Shows without puppets, but completely puppet! Animation of bodies, shadows, sand, hands, objects… The usefulness of the term theater animation is becoming more and more useful, which may one day replace the name puppet theater.

All of the above, we expect to see at this year's PIF. We can only hope that from the moment this editorial is written until the PIF is held, there will be no more changes or further cancellations …

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Matina Tenžera

Tel: 0917361510