Be Festival


The Story of BE

In November 2009, we attended an Arts Council-hosted conference entitled ‘The Challenge of Change: How can we make a better future for theatre, here in the West Midlands?’ Many needs and problems were aired, and in response several schemes and ideas were cooked up to develop the region’s artistic resources and reputation.

BE FESTIVAL was one such invention, as a reaction to our positive experience touring our work in European festivals such as ACT Festival from whom we were mostly inspired by.

Seven months later it had turned from an idea in a conference to a fully-fledged reality! Over the four days of the first edition of the festival, audiences saw15 unique performances by companies from across Europe. The festival would not have been brought to life without the support, openness and encouragement of the Birmingham arts community, who generously gave us advice, ideas, contacts, time and buckets of positive energy.

It was also made possible by those kind Birmingham residents who opened their homes to visiting artists, and those who offered their energy and time to the project as volunteers. Finally, we could have achieved nothing without the support of Arts Council England, Birmingham City Council, Stan’s Cafe, mac, ACT Festival and Birmingham School of Acting. Thank you everyone and thank you Birmingham!

Awards 2010

BE Festival development prize: Translunar Paradise by Theatre Ad Infinitum, UK
BE Festival touring prize: The Planet by AbOvo, Greece
Best direction/choreography: Un Gouffre sous l’épaule by Mala Hierba (?), Belgium
Best male performer: Troëls Hagen Findsen for Posthumous Works, by Out of Balanz, Danemark
Best female performer: Marielle Morales for Un Gouffre sous l’épaule by Mala Hierba (?), Belgium
Special mention: Ros. Melógamo Mínimo by Angélico Musgo, Spain

Jury Members
Amanda Roberts, mac
Danièle Sanderson, Birmingham School of Acting
Michael Brown, LISPA
Fernando Montoya, ACT Festival Bilbao
David Hernandez, dancer and choreographer

Awards 2011

BE Festival development prize: As the flames rose we danced to the sirens, the sirens by Sleepwalk Collective, Spain
BE Festival – Act Festival touring prize: The Furies by Kindle Theatre, UK
Best direction/choreography: Le Pli by Mala Hierba (?), Belgium
Best dramaturgy: André & Dorine by Kulunka Theatre Company, Spain
Best male performer: Pierre-Yves Massip for Tell me the truth, by Autour du Mime, France
Best female performer: Iara Solano Arana for As the flames rose… by Sleepwalk Collective, Spain
Audience Prize: André & Dorine by Kulunka Theatre Company, Spain

Jury Members
Carlos Aladro, Corral de Comedias Alcalá
Paul Burns, DanceXchange – International Dance Festival Birmingham (IDFB)
Nihad Kresevljakovic, MESS International Theatre Festival in Sarajevo
Helen Lannaghan, London International Mime Festival
Toni Racklin, Barbican International Theatre Events (BITE)

Awards 2012

BE Festival – 1st prize ex aequo Solfatara by A Tres Bandes, Spain
and Homo Ridens_Birmingham by Teatro sotterraneo, Italy
BE Festival – Act Festival touring prize Homo Ridens_Birmingham by Teatro sotterraneo, Italy
Best direction/choreography Fantasy nº10;’The Beauty of Life’ by Vladimir Tzekov, Spain
Best dramaturgyGaudete – The Abduction and Duplication of Lumb by OBRA Theatre Co, France
Best physicalityL’Absent by La Compagnie du Geste qui Sauve, Belgium
Audience Prize Solfatara by A Tres Bandes, Spain

Jury Members
Matt Burman, Head of Programme & Audiences at Warwick Arts Centre
Greg Hicks, performer and member of The Royal Shakespeare Company
Donald Hutera, theatre and dance critic for The Times
Andrés Lima, director of Animalario (Spain)
Arben Zharku, director of SKENA UP (Kosovo)

Furthermore, the festival directors will select three performances to tour the UK under the banner of Best of BE FESTIVAL.

Archive 2013


BE FESTIVAL – 1st prize: Next Door by Out of Balanz, Denmark
Supported by Birmingham REP and Midlands Arts Centre
Act Festival – Arriaga prize: Tao Te by Ferenc Feher, Hungary
Supported by ACT Festival Bilbao and Teatro Arriaga
Development prize: AMOR FATI by Le Théâtre du Baléti, France
Supported by Southbank Centre London, Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham REP and Fringe Madrid

Audience Prize: Next Door by Out of Balanz, Denmark

Most poetic visuals (ex aequo): Remember me by Sineglossa, Italy
Popol se ha ido by DeCollage, Spain
Most gobsmacking moment: La Belle Escabelle by Doble Mandoble, Belgium

Jury Members
Geraldine Collinge, Director of Events and Exhibitions at the Royal Shakespeare Company
Wendy Martin, Head of Performance and Dance at the Southbank Centre in London
Jarmo Penttila, Director of Programming at National Theatre of Chaillot in Paris
Joan Picanyol, International Programmer at Teatro Español and MATADERO in Madrid
Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Furthermore, Out of Balanz, Ferenc Fehér and Betti Combo will tour the UK and Madrid under the banner of Best of BE.

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