23-30 September 2017
Press Siera Nevada16th September, Bitola – ICFF “Manaki Brothers” gladly informs you that after yesterday’s screening of the film “Sieranevada”, a press-conference was held today where the Macedonian crew of the film was presented. Among them was Labina Mitevska, whose production company “Sisters and Brother Mitevski” co-produced the film. The director of the festival, Blagoja Kunovski - Dore talked with several of the members of the Macedonian production of Cristi Puiu’s film, the award-winning Romanian director. Besides Mitevska, Ivo Baru, assistant director, and Atanas Georgiev, sound editor, spoke of the peculiar experience of working with this great Romanian director. After the conversation with the crew from “Sieranevada”, there was another discussion about co-productions, not just from regional, but from European perspective as well. The Macedonian producer Labina Mitevska and the Slovenian producer Daniel Hocevar shared their experiences and opinions on this subject.
“Sieranevada” is a film which raises many questions, starting from the method of filming and continuing with the content of the work. Kunovski emphasized that the Romanian cinematography is a positive example for contemporariness and actuality.
The team consisted of the producer Labina Mitevska, the sound editor Atanas Georgiev and the assistant director Ivo Baru shared their experiences concerning the work on this film which is a complex European co-production between Romania, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France and Croatia.
Labina Mitevska thanked the festival for the opportunity to show their film in Bitola and for the wonderful experience of the film premiere.
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Ivo Baru, the assistant director, said that Cristi Puiu is a strict director who has his own idea of what the film should look like and tries to actualize it at any rate. From the actors he wanted perfect coordination and from the cameramen to forget what they studied and to accept his experimental approach, in order to get a specific poetics of light and image.
-There are many directors in the world, but I had the opportunity to work with an auteur who set the foundations of the Romanian New Wave. I can talk a lot about the film and the things we experienced during filming as extremely valuable. – said Baru.
The crew said that Puiu was sometimes very hard on the actors, but that is why the final product is almost a choreographically precise dynamics of action and movement.
Labina Mitevska added that the interesting thing with this director was that he didn’t work in a predictable manner and made changes all throughout, changed cameramen, as well as actors at the last moment, but she considers the final product a true poetry.
-What impressed me was that the film has a certain poetry, it’s all choreographed, the actors, the movements on the camera. It has been a long time since I’ve seen such a sensual approach of shooting a film. Although it’s not technically perfect, that honesty and directness, which springs from the camera, touches the soul and creates a feeling of agitation. – said Mitevska.
IMG 4120Atanas Georgievski, who was responsible for sound editing, explained that Puiu was so uncompromising when it came to his ideas, that when a producer told him to cut the length of the film considerably, he sent the film to the festivals in Berlin and Cannes on his own, without the knowledge of the distributor, so at the end the film kept its original length of 173 minutes.
-There are two types of directors. One of them is a dictator, and the other one is a democrat. Cristi is definitely not a democrat. There is a saying that the feature film is striving to be a documentary, while the documentary is striving to be a feature film. With Puiu this saying has proved completely true. His film looks like a documentary. This experiment of his is truly successful. – said Georgievski.
After the interesting discussion concerning “Sieranevada”, the director Kunovski held another discussion about co-productions, this time the speakers were the producers Labina Mitevska and Daniel Hocevar from Slovenia.
Hocevar expressed his opinion that the regional co-productions are the most significant form of co-producing from which the countries have the largest benefit. Labina Mitevska, on the contrary, thinks that the small countries in particular have a lot more to gain from a co-production with European countries, outside of the constraints of the region, because they get a chance to work with world-renowned professionals and learn in the process.
-The countries with which we share a common language are the ones with which we’ll collaborate the easiest. – Hocevar thinks.
IMG 4084Labina Miteska said that even though she had many opportunities to work with regional co-productions, that is not what she’s interested in and drawn towards, not because of some sort of arrogance, but because of the diversity the Balkan cannot offer.
-I’m not interested in regional co-productions. I’m interested in the complex European productions because I think that when it comes to a co-production, what we on the Balkan can offer esthetically is very similar. Also, we cannot design sound as France or Belgium can. When you see how the French work on the sound, you realize that we’re very backwards. When I’m working on films, I’m interested in bringing high quality professionals, so that we can learn from one another and raise the production level. I think that the Balkan co-productions cannot offer the diversity I’m striving for. – said Labina Mitevska.
IMG 3987As part of the documentary program of the 37th edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers”, yesterday evening, after the screening of the documentary “A Story in Third Person” there was a discussion with the Israeli author Yarden Karmin. The discussion was moderated by Goran Sadicario from the Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia in Skopje, while one of the attendants was the ambassador of Israel in Macedonia, H. E. Dan Orian.
“A Story in Third Person” is a poignant and intimate documentary about two sisters who managed to survive the Holocaust during World War Two. The protagonist succeeds in saving her sister, who lost both of her legs in the war, and to move her to a safe place in the newly formed country of Israel.
The 37th edition of festival “Manaki Brothers” ends tomorrow with the award ceremony and the world premiere of the Macedonian film “Golden Five”.
At the ceremony tomorrow the cinematographer Phedon Papamichail will receive the Special Award “Golden Camera 300” for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art, while Simon Perry will receive the “Great Star” award for Outstanding Contribution for Macedonian Cinematography, awarded by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association. Perry, a main producer of “British Screen” was one of the producers of “Before the Rain”, the most successful Macedonian feature film.
The closing ceremony will be directed by Martin Kocovski who is preparing a performance connected with the waking of a new life, as he says.
Right after the award ceremony of the special contributions, the recipients of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300 will be announced. Afterwards there will be a screening of the film “Golden Five”. The script for this Macedonian film is made after certain prose and dramatic texts by Bratislav Taskovski, while the last version was done by the co-writer Biljana Garvanlieva. The producer of the film is Dejan Milosevski, cinematographer is Apostol Trpeski, editors are Andrija Zafranovic and Aristid Filaktov, production designer is Kiril Spaseski, costume designer is Nela Todorovska, make up is done by Irena Senokozlioska, while the music is by Darko Spasovski and Goran Kerkez.
The action in the film deals with a paradoxical event from 1951 when five young and prosperous students from Strumica are killed. This film represents a fiction of a love that was violently broken off, where longing and betrayal have become a burden. For almost half a century later, in 2016, the emigrant Alavantie who has survived, returns to his homeland, coming onto some new traces from the file which the secret services kept with the students’ code names.
The roles in the film are played by the actors Slavko Stimac, Jana Stojanovska, Ljupka Dzundeva, Igor Angelov, Petar Arsovski, Vasil Mihail, Nenad Milosavljevic, Biljana Tanevski, Dine Drvarov, Stojan Velkov, Aleksandar Ristoski, Vlatko Ilievski, Grigor Jovanovski, Igor Todorov, Viktor Jakimovski and others.
The “Golden Five” will have its premiere in the Official Selection of the International Film Festival “Raindance” in London, on the 29th of September.
The “Golden Five” is produced by “Revolution” in Skopje and is supported by the Film Agency.