AGRFT academy finally in its own premises
Ljubljana, 29 September - The Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television (AGRFT) has moved to its new premises in Aškerčeva Road in Ljubljana after years of efforts to secure an adequate facility. Its Dean Tomaž Gubenšek says it would now like to become a cultural centre of the University of Ljubljana and beyond.
The academy has now fully moved to the former building of the Faculty of Chemistry, vacated in 2014, after the move started in early 2021.
After six years of renovation work as part of the project, the building now features separate sections for film and theatre.
Its department of dramaturgy and performing arts, the theatre and film studies centre and administration are meanwhile at the new premises in Trubarjeva Street.
The entire AGRFT project - the renovation of the building in Aškerčeva and the purchase of a building in Trubarjeva - cost EUR 21.9 million.
Since its inception in 1945, the academy had never had its own building, having to rent premises at several locations around Ljubljana.
The new location features 4,000 square metres of usable space, not only lecture halls but also a large film studio and a large theatre hall.
Chancellor Igor Papič told the press on Wednesday the process of building new facilities for the university's members was dragging for years, including for AGRFT.
The idea to move to the former Faculty of Chemistry building was given after a 2004 plan to put all three University of Ljubljana academies under the same roof in a new building in Roška Road fell through over a denationalisation procedure.
The Kazina building is now being renovated to host the Academy of Music and a solution to the Academy of Fine Arts and Design will be sought in Roška Road.
Budget funds were secured in 2014-2015 when the three-academy project made it to the list of the country's development programmes, explained Mihaela Bauman Podojsteršek, the university's secretary general.
Dean Gubenšek said the building in Aškerčeva posed a number of challenges as it is protected as cultural heritage.
He said they would now like to become a cultural centre of the university and broader. To start with, they wanted to organise a series of events spanning several days to open the doors to the public, but postponed it due to Covid-19.
The idea is to have the academy's theatre with a regular programme open to the general public as well as regular film screenings at the academy's cinema theatre.
The premises could also be rented to other institutions, groups or individuals, since many used to help the academy when it was in space distress, said Gubenšek.
The new chancellor, Gregor Majdič, who is taking over on Friday, meanwhile said the new premises were an exceptional asset not only for the academy but the entire university.