September 23, Bitola – The festival day in Bitola started with a press-conference of the crew that worked on the film The Lover, which was screened last night at the opening ceremony of the festival.

“A great little film with a big idea – The Lover had its world and Macedonian premiere, but after this it will certainly be presented at other festivals as well. The festival atmosphere today had a lift by a good feeling of having a world premiere of a beautiful film, whose producers will take it to some of the world-renowned festivals as soon as possible because it will certainly touch the hearts of the wider audience with its universality and language, as it has a nostalgic, homage-like turn on what the good old film once was and what some kind of recent view of film means, with all the technological links of processes to make a work of this kind”, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore said, presenting the film.

At the meet-and-greet with the reporters, the director and script writer Igor Ivanov – Izi was present, as well as cinematographers Dejan Dimeski and Tomi Salkovski, and the actors Natalija Teodosieva and Sasho Petrovski.

The director and script writer Igor Ivanov spoke on the idea of filming The Lover.

“This is a little older idea. We wanted to make this film for quite some time. The script was written down since 2009. I wrote it in one go, this idea came out of somewhere and we were thinking with Tomi that it is best to make it with the Manaki brothers’ camera. What we wanted to do is to make a post-modern act and for it not to be only a film in itself, but to be something that is attached to the film as a PR thing, something that has to do with the public and for it to function as a piece of work in that way. For this idea to be complete, we wanted to repair the Manaki brothers’ camera, we were even coming here in Bitola with Tomi and with the respected Dragan Salkovski, who was inspecting the camera, checking if it’s fine, in what condition are the gears, the 16mm lens etc. We wanted to do all that and to shoot the film with that camera, but it didn’t happen because of budget limitations. Since that process really cannot fit into a short film’s budget and thinking of what is to be done onward, Tomi asked if we would apply with this film again, I agreed, the Film Agency gave the finances and we shot this film with a standard contemporary technique, with an ARRI ALEXA camera. We wanted to make one thing, another thing came out as the product, yet the destination for this film was clearly always the Manaki festival. We’ve always had the idea of promoting it here and I am very glad that it happened yesterday, 9 years after the initial idea”, Ivanov – Izi said.

On the question of the condition they encountered the camera of the Manaki brothers in and how much would its restoration cost, Tomi Salkovski pointed out that the camera has a problem with the lens. “The lens is fixed, but the mechanism works perfectly. It’s left in a quite good condition. Some little interventions and tests needed to be done. If those tests wouldn’t have been done, we couldn’t have theoretically come to a correct calculation. Tests are done, material is being recorded, it is taken to a lab, and, afterwards, based on the recorded, exposed material, experts estimate what exactly has to be done. We didn’t have some exact calculations, just approximate ones which were larger than the budget given by the Film Agency, so we decided not to go into more serious elaborations in terms of the repair. By the way, the lens is a kind of a camcorder and it needs repair, so it should be sent to Zeiss.