Congratulating the 40-year jubilee of the festival, the president Pendarovski pointed out that it is a result of the endurance and the restless work in the past four decades of all who are part of the organization and the selection of the program. With that, in the words of the president Pendarovski, the inheritance that was left by Janaki and Milton Manaki is consistently and devotedly taken care of.

-Reaching its forty-year milestone, we don’t say that a festival is an old one, but that it found its spot in the culture of a country and the people for good. The “Manaki Brothers” festival started as a modest gathering honoring the first Balkan cinematographers. I suppose that it was then a sort of a pilot for which very few people could believe would grow to be a renowned European and world festival. And that is of course due to at least two reasons. The unbreakable will in the walking on the only possible way of creativity, which is not easy in an unpredictable and fast time where ideologies, values, borders of countries and the world are changing. On the opposite of that dynamics, the festival here, in Bitola, brought some of the most outstanding names of film art in general, among which there are many Oscar candidates and winners.

The 40-year jubilee is, of course, also a result of the precise concept of the repertoire over the years. The film art is and engaged art which, among other things, speaks also of the conscience of society. For me and for many others, film artists are the counterculture heroes which address some of the most flaming question of our time on the film screen – the social injustice, the human dignity, the refugees, the discrimination, the ecology… It is enough to go through the program to see that a large number of the films are devoted to the dominant themes in the world and here. They not only make us think, but encourage us to fight against the indifference and the exclusion from the world and from the life, inspiring us to respect the difference and to create a society of equal citizens, which offers the same chances to everyone, Pendarovski pointed out.