For many years, Croatian and foreign repertory companies have followed one another, on the open stage in front of the old Šibenik town hall and in the municipal theatre, responding to the eternal call of the historic spirit. the spectator area is too small to receive all those who want to see everything that the performers have to offer, and it is no wonder that house windows have become theatre boxes and stairways are used as stalls. From them one gets the best view of that the writers have imagined, producers planned, and actors realised with the sorcery of their unique skill.
To draw means to leave a trace. To leave a trace means to live. The suit white billboards of Šibenik are waiting to receive the wealth of the child’s world which, in the children’s clumsy yet masterful little fingers, using pencils, crayons, brushes, plasticine and clay, turns into an amazing and unrepeatable fantasy world and a joyful addition to the rest of the Festival programmes. Rubbing shoulders with children in Šibenik we find the most eminent Croatia artists, painters and sculptors, who have preserved and cultivated the precious link with the experiences of pure childhood.
Music is in us and around us. It is everywhere. It is present in the stone harmony of the great works of Juraj Dalmatinac, in the spontaneous singing of popular vocal groups on any one of Šibenik’s echoing squares. Music, vocal or instrumental, composed or folk music, is an element of the rich offerings of the International Children’s Festival in Šibenik. In the cacophony of the loud modern world, many of Šibenik’s summer nights, during the Festival, turn into a celebration of man’s most ancient skills, a holiday of rhythm, sound and harmony. In its many forms, music links the performers and audiences of all races in an integral artistic experience, enabling them, over the years, to make their creative contribution to the building of a nobler, culturally conscious man. Singers, dancers, instrumentalists, ballerinas, entertainers, folk musicians-they all find a suitable refuge among the historic stone monuments of Šibenik, so that they can make a bond between art, the human soul, and the unforgettable atmosphere of the International Children’s Festival.
Puppets have long been accepted as fellow-citizens of Šibenik. They have turned the whole city into a big playroom-a real one, as well as an imaginary one-which is their true habitat. Puppets are ideal impersonations of figures born from the unreachable depths of children’s imagination and returning to it sa a sanctuary grazed and burdened with the experience of the adult world. All of the Croatian puppet theatres and many foreign ones have participated in the International Children’s Festival in Šibenik. Every one of these performances was a new delight pleasure and experience for the children, and for the never grow-up child who, luckily, still exists in every adult.
Film & television
Film was added to the Festival programme in 1977. There had been film screening earlier too, but from that year it became a recognised and distinct part of the Festival. In addition to the screening of the best Croatian films for children, the intentions was to evaluate earlier films and to acquaint new generations of children with the classics of foreign and Croatian cinematography. The main emphasis, of course, is placed on children’s creativity in film-making. A logical next step was the opening of the animated film workshop (1983) to serve as a focal for training in animated film making. Television is also present at the Festival, although this powerful modern medium has not yet found its proper place in the rich pageant of the International Children’s Festival in Šibenik.