September 30, Bitola – The 38th edition of the ICFF Manaki Brothers ended tonight with the award ceremony. Beside the renowned world cinematographers and the faithful audience of Bitola at the festival, the minister for culture Robert Alagjozovski also walked the red carpet, and he gave the Special Golden Camera 300 for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art to the director Milcho Manchevski. With his cult films “Before the Rain”, “Mothers”, “Dust”, and “Shadows”, he set Macedonia on the world best film lists.
The minister Alagjozovski handed the prize to Manchevski, pointing out that he is handing this award to him with all his heart, because his film researches and critics that he has written before were mostly dedicated to the works of this director.
Milcho Manchevski expressed gratitude for the award and wished a speedy recovery to the festival director Blagoja Kunovski – Dore. He also appealed for the culture to get the proper treatment in the society.
-The culture is not something to be put among the obituaries and small advertisements, the culture is what makes the man what he is, it makes the community be exactly that, and finally, the culture is what makes humanity what it is. That is why I appeal for it not to be pushed amongst the obituaries and the small advertisements – said Manchevski.
The moment everyone was impatiently expecting was, of course, the announcement of the winners of the Golden, Silver, and Bronze Camera 300 awards, for which 13 cinematographers of the films in the official competition competed this year.
The jury consisted of Paul Rene Roestad, president, and the members Luca Coassin, Jani Petteri Passi, Darijan Pejovski and Erol Zubcevic, who was not able to personally be present at the closing ceremony, handed the awards to the cinematographers, saying that it had not been an easy job whatsoever to pick among such quality films.
The first one to speak was the president of the jury, Paul Rene Roestad, thanking the festival team for organizing such a festival in honor of cinematographers from throughout the world.
-As a president of the European Federation of Cinematographers, I would like to especially point out the importance of this festival for all the cinematographers throughout the world and to emphasize how we are honestly being amazed of the significant work Blagoja Kunovski, Gena Teodosievska and their fantastic team do, focusing on cinematographers from all around the world. To be a member of a jury is a hard job. Especially when you are surrounded by such talented cinematographers. We sometimes felt like being in a museum, surrounded by paintings of Rembrandt, Titian, Cézanne, and Renoir, and it is as we need to pick which one is the best. But, honestly, the real job of the jury is to make the decision. Well, we made it – said Paul Roestad before the awarding itself.
The Small Camera 300 was awarded to the cinematographer Naum Dokseski, who shot the Macedonian short film directed by Goran Stolevski, “Look at Her”, about a young girl that breaks the rules of a patriarchal society. This year, besides the main awards, the jury awarded a Special Mention to the young Russian cinematographer Daniil Fomichev for the film “How Victor Garlic Took Alexey the Stud to the Nursing Home”, directed by Alexander Hant. Darijan Pejovski handed the award to Fomichev, explaining that the fresh approach of the cinematographer in this debut film is responsible for this award.
The Bronze Camera 300 went in the hands of Dejan Dimeski for the film “The Frog” directed by Elmir Jukic. Luca Coassin, handing the award to Dimeski, said that the jury thinks that the cinematographer dealt with the challenge of telling a story in a very limited space, finding the ideal distance between the camera and the performance of the actors.
Dimeski thanked the jury and his crew, bringing back memories of the first time he came to the Manaki Brothers festival, as a student in 1993, for now to live up to standing up on the stage with one of the main awards.
Jani Petteri Passi, before awarding the Silver Camera 300, pointed out that it wasn’t easy to decide between the two films that were battling out for first place. The Silver Camera 300 went in the hands of Reiner Klausmann for the film “In the Fade”, directed by Fatih Akin.
-A cinematographer that shows his great experience and ability to visually tell a story in a way that perfectly matches with the important and dramatic story. He visually supports and perfectly emphasizes every little act in the script, unobtrusively adding up to the emotional balance of the story – said Passi.
The Golden Camera 300 went in the hands of the Hungarian filmmaker Marcell Rev, the cinematographer that shot the film “Jupiter’s Moon”, an intricate story for the attitude towards the refugees.
The president of the jury Paul Roestad handed him the award, saying that Marcell Rev surprised with his visual energy and an exceptional creativity in transferring the story through pictures.
All the award winners were visibly excited and they thanked the jury and the organizers of the festival for the wonderful opportunity to be part of such a unique film festival that celebrates the work of the people behind the camera.
For the end of the ceremony, the minister for culture Robert Alagjozovski expressed gratitude to all the participants of the festival, to the film workers who created a brand almost 40 years ago that still glows with uniqueness among the countless film festivals around the world.
-Besides the film workers, the real hosts of the festival, the audience of Bitola, also deserves an acknowledgement. This audience is our center, this audience are all of us. Exactly for the art lovers, the festival should continue to develop as a carefully created celebration of film, with a high respect towards the directors of photography and their dedication in constructing the aesthetic of the moving pictures – said Alagjozovski.
He also expressed the support of the Ministry, directed towards a better and more stable future and development of the festival in the spirit of the contemporary trends in art.
-The Ministry for Culture gives an essential support to the festival. We also demonstrated that recently, when we helped to right an injustice and the festival to be returned for organization to the Association of Film Professionals of Macedonia which has been organizing it for over three decades. We are determined to anticipate the future facing the quality in the making, but at the same time proud of our tradition and of the freshness of the experience of that tradition. That is priceless, noble, and truly very rare, and that’s why all need to honorably represent it and upgrade it – said the minster Alagjozovski.
After the award ceremony, the audience at the Center for Culture saw the last film from the main program “Let the Sunshine in”, directed by Claire Denis, with Juliette Binoche in the main role.