The million denars allocated for OFFest at the annual contest for projects of national interest in culture, reduced by half from last year’s amount, do not provide even the most minimal financial conditions for holding OFFest (scheduled from June 7 to 10) as a (multi-day) festival. Unfortunately, after 21 years of beautiful festival tradition, we have no other choice but to cancel it, say the organizers.
We do not intend to file a complaint to the second-level commission and expose ourselves to further humiliation that even with the support we often had with the Ministry of Culture in the past years. Last year, for example, we filed a complaint on March 1, OFFest was held at the beginning of June, and we received an answer to the complaint (of course negative) on September 19. We know that we have submitted exceptionally high-quality applications to this contest and that the funds that were available in this activity were not reduced compared to last year. We do not intend to comment on the Annual Program, which, according to the Law on Culture, was adopted by Minister Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojcevska, nor to engage in any comparative analyses. It is completely meaningless as long as the quantity of approved projects is a substitute for the assessment of what is and what is not, national interest in culture, according to criteria and quality, with the final abandonment of populism and anti-European policies in culture, present in the Annual Program.