23-30 September 2017
IMG 429317th September, Bitola – ICFF “Manaki Brothers” gladly informs you that at the last press-conference of the festival before tonight’s closing ceremony, the attendants had the chance to hear the laureate of the “Great Star” award, given by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association, Simon Perry. The rest of the guests on the press-conference were part of the team of the Macedonian film “Golden Five” which will close this year’s festival.
The director of the festival, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, presented the cinematographer of the film “Soy Nero”, a film that has left a strong imprint at the festival in Berlin. The story of the film refers to Nero whose dream is to become an American citizen. The struggle that ensues from this dream leads him to a war zone in the middle of a desert.
- I enjoyed working on a film that deals with this subject. The hardest part was the shooting in the desert. The most important thing for me concerning the beginning of the work on a film was the script, as well as the collaboration with the director. – said Karamanis.
IMG 4326The laureate of the “Great Star” award, given by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association, Simon Perry, was also present at today’s press-conference. Simon Perry, who has a brilliant career as a producer, is also the producer responsible for the launching of Milco Mancevski’s film “Before the Rain”.
Regarding the collaboration with Milco Mancevski, Simon Perry said that it all began when in 1993 he received a phone call from a man with a Balkan name, who got him interested in his idea for a film, but he was also drawn to the fact that he comes from such a small country. Perry says that he still keeps track of the films that come from this part of Europe, but is sorry that Macedonia doesn’t produce as much films.
- I’m always searching for originality. I want to see talent and a way of storytelling that I have not seen before. “Before the Rain” was such film. In that time, 1993, I remember I got a phone call from an unknown person with a Balkan name, Milco Mancevski, who got me interested in his idea for a film. Macedonia was still a new country then that got its independence after the fall of Yugoslavia. In fact, at that time Macedonia was the newest country in Europe, perhaps in the world. – said Perry.
Speaking about the current trends in Macedonian cinematography, Perry says that he is disappointed not enough films are made in Macedonia.
- I’m always interested in what happens in this part of Europe and I have to say I’m a bit disappointed there are so few films from Macedonia. I also think that Teona Mitevska is an original talent and good director, and the films that she makes gave identity to the Macedonian cinematography. I also know the search for funds is not easy.
Simon Perry said that the biggest challenge for him was the search for originality and to work with directors from smaller countries, who bring something new in their approach and who have a great talent. As positive examples he mentioned Finland and Iceland, as well as Greece.
IMG 4370Blagoja Kunovski presented the team from the film “Golden Five” at today’s press-conference, a film which will be screened at the closing ceremony this evening. Present at the press-conference were the director Goran Trencovski, the producer Dejan Milosevski and the actors Petar Arsovski, Biljana Tanevski and Igor Angelov.
- We are grateful for the honor to play the film on this renowned festival. The film is a moral dramatic story with elements of thriller and romance which happen in the 1950’s. – said the director Trencovski.
The actors Petar Arsovski, Biljana Tanevski and Igor Angelov said that they are satisfied with the work on the film and can’t wait to see it tonight for the first time.
The producer Dejan Milosevski said that he dedicates today’s screening to Biljana Garvanlieva, co-screenwriter of the film, who sadly passed away before the final version of the film.

The Oscar Winner John Seale Laid Flowers on Milton Manaki’s Grave
The tradition of laying flowers on the grave of the first Balkan cameraman, Milton Manaki (1880-1964), at the Vlach Cemetery in Bitola, continued on the 37th edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers”. The delegation led by the team of the festival, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore and Gena Teodosievska, consisted of the Oscar winner John Seale and his wife Louise, Nigel Walters, as a representative of IMAGO, several young cinematographers – guests of the festival, representatives of the council of the Municipality of Bitola, representatives of the Vlach community and the political parties in Bitola.
IMG 1060The Oscar winner John Seale gave a short speech at Milton Manaki’s grave in which he said:
-The Manaki brothers started their work in 1905, so it is a great honor to be here, as part of the festival ceremony dedicated to them. This is also a wonderful opportunity and privilege for young cinematographers, as well as all the cinematographers who are present at the festival, to see how the festival is maintaining the tradition which celebrates the work of the Manaki brothers, who started working in the beginnings of world cinematography. It is a truly great honor to be here and pay respects to the work of the two “fathers” of cinematography – said John Seale, laying flowers on the grave of Milton Manaki at the Vlach Cemeter in Bitola.
Yesterday evening, as part of the program of the 37th edition of ICFF “Manaki Brothers”, the 45th anniversary of the Macedonian animated film was marked, organized in collaboration with the Cinematheque of Macedonia.
IMG 4248Ten animated films by Macedonian authors were screened at the Small Hall of the Cultural Centre in Bitola. Suncica Veselinovska, a film expert from the Cinematheque of Macedonia, said that this is a significant anniversary for the Macedonian cinematography and that this time the selection of the animated films was meant to show the development of the animated film.
-The audience had the chance to see a selection of ten animated films by significant animators who worked in the 1970’s and 1980’s, as well as animated films by younger authors. It is important to mention that the Cinematheque of Macedonia is still looking after the preservation of the animated film, which is of great significance to the Macedonian cinematography. – said Suncica Veselinovska.
Tonight the 37th edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” will close with the award ceremony for Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300, Small Camera 300 for Best Short Film, as well as the Special award “Golden Camera 300” for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art that will be given to the famous American cinematographer Phedon Papamichail, and the “Great Star” award for the producer Simon Perry. The film that will be screened at the ceremony is “Golden Five”, which is out of competition.