June 5th, Skopje – It was announced at today’s press conference that the American cinematographer Ed Lachman is the first laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement at the 40th edition of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival, to be held from September 14-21 in Bitola.

Igor Ivanov – Izi, president of the Association of Film Professionals, said that the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” is the most significant project of the AFPM and that the 40-year-jubilee is a truly imposing number.

“In the year of the festival jubilee, and the 70-year-jubilee of the AFPM next year, I can say that all those contradictories and antagonisms present in our profession for decades have finally calmed down. I think that for the whole conglomerate of institutions, starting with the Film Agency, which finances us all, AFPM, as an association of professionals, the educational institutions, certainly the Cinematheque, without which the festival or any other smaller or bigger film-related institutions couldn’t be done, I am also speaking about the film critics, good tides are starting to come by and the Macedonian cinematography goes in a positive direction, it gets a form, specifics and a picture of its own in front of the world, which it will use to present itself in the years to come”, Ivanov said.

He gave his gratitude to the festival director Gena Teodosievska, to the artistic director Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, to the Cinematheque of Macedonia, to Vardar Film and to the Film Agency and Gorjan Tozija for what he does for the AFPM and especially for this festival, as a foundation of the film work.

Ivanov informed the present press that the AFPM will award the “Big Star of Macedonian Film” this year as well.

The director of the “Manaki Brothers” festival, Gena Teodosievska, pointed out that the preparations for the jubilee edition are intense. She thanked Igor Ivanov – Izi, the Municipality of Bitola, the Center for Culture in Bitola, Vardar Film, and the Cinematheque of North Macedonia, whose directors were present at the press conference.

“While we all worked hard on this edition together with Ivanov and Blagoja Kunovski, we worked parallelly on other collaborations as well, we already informed you about the big prize of IMAGO for extraordinary contribution in the area of film art. A representative of ours presented five short Macedonian films at the short film festival in Poznan, Poland, and we presented five young directors. Last week, at the Danish Film Institute, we presented Macedonian feature films from the younger generation of domestic directors and that’s why I think that this festival is growing into a partner of European and world festivals, which in fact was our mission – the festival not to be only for screening films, but to also be a link of connection of our film authors with the European and world film authors”, said Teodosievska. She informed the press that this year the festival dates are set earlier because of the festival in San Sebastian, so that more film critics and press, especially from the region, can attend the “Manaki Brothers” festival.

The video message of Lachman was also played at the press conference, as he gave his gratitude for the award and said that this is another connection for him with his Eastern European descent. “I found art in Eastern Europe, and life in America.”

Edward (Ed) Lachman has been one of the candidates for the Lifetime Achievement award and new member of the club of great names of the “Manaki Brothers” for quite some time, said Blagoja Kunovski – Dore. He added that the name of Lachman is at the top of not only the American, but also the world film and that it is a great pleasure that he accepted the invitation to attend the festival.

“Lachman has been at the top of the American cinematography for decades and he has been nominated for an Oscar on multiple occasions. But, now, with our greatest pleasure, we give to him our Oscar, the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, which he absolutely deserves. Having him as a new laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, with the inspirational dimension of his tireless creative energy and with all his humane, altruistic nobility – in the sign of Ed Lachman, the celebration of the 40-year-jubilee of “Manaki Brothers” gets the most suitable act of glorification of the art of cinematographers”, said Kunovski.

The director of the Center for Culture, Maja Andonovska Ilievska, also spoke at the press conference, who noted that the Center for Culture will pay special attention to the Festival this year, considering its jubilee edition. She said that they didn’t get the demanded funds from the Ministry for Culture for a more sophisticated technical equipment, but that they did get a new power aggregator and that the Center for Culture will be able to fulfill the high criteria of the festival.

Evgenija Bektash Josifovska spoke on behalf of the Municipality of Bitola, saying that the “Manaki Brothers” festival is part of the annual culture program of the Municipality of Bitola. “The festival is in our program both organizationally and financially. As every year, we also help the festival this year with accommodation of guests and partially with the printed materials, as well as other organizational matters”, said Josifovska, who added that the Municipality of Bitola is very proud of this festival.