1-The International Theatre Festival after two years of absence and the touristic season
In the midst of many activities brought by the touristic season, publications of the Ministry of Culture this month, one stands out particularly, the International Theatre Festival Butrinti 2000. During July the 13th edition was organized.
What is this festival and how was it organized throughout the years?
As the name itself suggests this festival started regularly in 2000 under the auspices of the National Center for Mediterranean Theatre and for many years in a row with the support of the Ministry of Culture and different donors. In the scene of this festival, according to information from organizers, around 2500 foreign artists have performed. In the 12 editions theatre troops from Italy, France, USA, UK, Greece, Kosovo, Netherlands, Cyprus, Hungary, Sweden, Poland and Albania have participated.
The festival was interrupted for a two year period after the 11th edition for management reasons and due to lack of a common understanding between the state institutions and festival staff. Other reasons were financial and institutional policies that maybe shifted the interest in activities of this nature. The 12th edition was organized in 2013 after discussions and persistence of organizers who secured funds of 4 million lek for the National Center of Art, a minimal funding that would condition the participation of large theatrical troops from other countries. In 2014 the director of this festival, Alfred Bualoti, notified the public about the failure of the festival because the funding allocated by the Ministry of Culture was insufficient. In an interview he declared that: ‘’throughout the years the Ministry of Culture allocated 20-25% of its budget to the festival. In 2014 the festival received only 5% of the general budget.’’ While the Butrint Festival is the only theatre activity integrated in the agenda and European conventions.
In July the International Theatre Festival Butrinti 2000 returned on July 18-23 in the amphitheatre scene of Butrint. According to different news sources the festival returned after many clashes between the directors of the festival and the Ministry of Culture for financial disputes because the funds allocated this year are only 10000 Euros. This sum, according to organizers, brought a reduction of the program, its timeframe and participants. This year three theatre companies participated in the festival, coming mainly from neighbouring countries and two from Albania. The National Theatre was not among them.
If we would look at the progress of the last years we can say that like many other activities this festival suffered from frequent inconsistencies in institutional policies. As a cultural asset in the touristic season the continuity of the festival should have been ensured and further developed not allowing financial considerations to hamper the process. The Ministry of Culture should have foreseen in its budgetary planning a special fund allocated for the festival and should have given incentives for organizers to increase capacities and performance and gather more artists together to promote and motivate them.
One of the key to success in preserving tradition and creating a national image and integrating in the international and national cultural arena is the continuity and creating history. This spirit is lacking in many Albanian institutions because leaders of many fields do not continue to work on initiatives for which there were considerable investments. This means we do not have an orientation towards solutions, adapting and attaching new development ideas, integrating and constructive. Not to mention cases of pressure towards policies applied by different political forces which create insecurity and doubt. These actions make you think of clientelisms and orientation of funds towards personal interests to benefit and undermine values. In cases of institutional scepticism it is the duty of each institution to monitor and evaluate the reasons for each decision and undertaken action to the public and identify dissatisfaction in cases when when each individual and subject needs to improce its work and performance so that the public opinion is not shocked everytime by the shadow of doubt and feel the presence of benefiting interests through policies.
This time the festival was organized despite participation, at the same time as other festivals in other cities of the country. These activities serve the Albanian and foreign public especially in the summer season. These initiatives should be expanded in number and quality, since we are a country with potentials and with the right tools we can promote even more the country and generate income for individuals and institutions.
2-Awaiting the approval of the draft law on intellectual property rights
Another important news published in the website of the ministry of culture was the one regarding preparations for the ‘’Draft Law on Intellectual Property Rights’’, which remains one of the major concerns for inventors in any field.
According to a notification in the official website of the ministry the draft law on property rights is being developed in accordance with directives of the European Parliament and the Council of Minister of the EU. A series of consultations with actors experts and representatives of interest groups. We are waiting for its approval in parliament, which is expected in May of next year. In the official website of the ministry you can find the designed draftlaw.