A traditional theme in a non-traditional year

This year’s Fest Anča theme is Traditions. It’s a paradox that the most traditional theme ever adopted by our festival will take place in the most non-traditional way possible as Fest Anča – for the first time ever – will be online.

Why did we choose the theme for this year?

Traditions have helped previous generations, and provided the comfort of learning from their ancestors’ wisdom: how to live, raise offspring, how and what to worship, and even cook, heal, and work.

Yet today, this compass seems broken. The world seems increasingly complicated, and we find ourselves set aback by new events that our ancestors could never have foreseen.

When the theme was defined, we had not expected Fest Anča’s 14th edition to go online – a pretty unconventional format for a film festival. But such a change is necessary to ensure its continuation. Isn’t this yet further proof that what was once considered natural and traditional will keep changing, whether we like it or not?

We look around and see that the more convoluted and uncontrollable the world is, the more we tend to return to the simple prism of the past: to assist better understanding, information and stories are reduced to templates, giving preference to black-and-white interpretations over diversity and tolerance.We don’t think that’s the right way forward.

This year’s Fest Anča programme aims to deconstruct societal, religious, personal, and national traditions from today’s perspective. We may uncover time-proven principles, or find they need updating or even retiring. Or we might open up a new communication channel and pursue a desperately needed new reality through art. The past few years prove we really need it.

– Fest Anča 2021’s programme and organisation team