Founded in 1967, BITEF has continually followed and supported the latest theatre trends. It has become one of the most significant culture festivals of Serbia.
During the 1960s, the founders of this festival (Mira Trailović, Jovan Ćirilov and their associates) courageously followed tumultuous events in global theatre teeming with avant-garde explorations. In the 1980s, BITEF showed Belgrade the highest reaches of the art of theatre, 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 20th century, BITEF, thanks to the help of international culture centres, government and non-government organizations, managed to keep abreast with the rest of world, through promotion of new theatre trends and ultimate theatre values.