Last week The Paper Cinema whizzed over to Bosnia to take part in the MESS Festival, to deliver a workshop and perform a show. The festival itself began in the sixties and is a monument to the determination and spirit of the organisers and participants – each October it presents around 50 productions from all over the world. During the siege of Sarajevo the festival continued, which is an overwhelming thought.
I had not visited Bosnia before so was amazed and awed in equal measure at the history of the city. Seeing Ottoman buildings in all their glory, and then walking ten minutes further on to see a wall covered in gunshots, is not something I will forget.
Our show was at maximum capacity and had sold out two weeks previously, which was tremendously exciting for us. The festival organisers encouraged people to attend with or without tickets, and when showtime arrived there were many people squeezed and huddled in, sat in every corner of the room possible, with no floor left bare! It made for a pretty electric atmosphere. I really appreciated the zeal and spirit the audience provided.
Here is myself and guitarist Celestino outside the theatre after our fist day setting up, and also myself as a puppet! Thank you to everyone at MESS Festival, all the audience and workshops participants, and The British Council for making it happen. We really hope we can visit again.