Founded in 1967, Bitef Teatar (Belgrade International Theater Festival) has continually followed and supported the latest theater trends. Growing and developing, it has become one of five most important and biggest European festivals and has, as such, secured itself an unmistakable place at the theater map of the world. It has become one of the most significant culture institutions of our country, but also much more than that. The importance of Bitef surpasses all political and cultural borders. For this reason we can identify the history of Bitef with a history of contemporary theater.
During the revolutionary nineteen sixties, the founders of this festival (Mira Trailovic, Jovan Cirilov and their associates) courageously followed tumultuous events in global theater teeming with avant-garde explorations. In the nineteen eighties, Bitef has shown Belgrade the highest reaches of the art of theater, thus becoming one of the few festivals comprising both experimental forms and significant classic achievements. In spite of political-economic crisis and embargo, in the final decade of the twentieth century, Bitef has, thanks to the generous help of international culture centers, government and non-government organizations, managed to keep up with the world, through promoting new theater trends and ultimate theater values. Bitef has thus preserved its place in the family of major international festivals, serving as a living proof that, in the society it had been created in, it represents an anti-traditional phenomenon and an epochal value of Serbian culture.