Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival

Press-conference for 38th ICFF Manaki Brothers

15 September – ICFF Manaki Brothers today, in Bitola, announced the full program for this year’s 38 edition that will take place from 23 to 20 September, in Bitola. 

Ten different film programs, lifetime achievement awards this year go to two great cinematographers of world cinema, Giuseppe Rotunno and Pier Lhomme, 13 superb cinematographic achievements are in competition for the Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300, which, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore selected mainly from the leading world film festivals in Cannes, Berlin and Venice. He, as a Festival Director, said that this edition too will run smoothly in the best possible way and with a lot of positive energy, despite all of the obstacles that were set on the festival’s way this year.

– I announce that you can expect another good edition. “Manaki Brothers” no. 38 will also be successful, first and foremost because of the films, and we also have a strong and high-quality selection which is the backbone and main pillar of our festival. The program is good and varied, and in the main competition we are offering films by cinematographers from different generations. This is, in fact, one of our missions – to discover new talents and new cinematographers – stars of world cinema, said Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, Festival Director.

This year, as festival guests, Bitola will welcome a record-breaking number of ten cinematographers from the films in the main selection.

– When it comes to cinematographers, we are continuing the connection, the continuity of representation of those who have already participated at our previous editions and earned awards — thus contributing for greater international affirmation of both the festival and the cinematographers themselves. That way we also show that quality is our priority, regardless of whether those are already affirmed masters or new talents. And despite the difficult moments we had while preparing this edition, we did our best with the awareness that Bitola is a film city, and we will continue to foster that, Kunovski added at today’s press conference.

At the Gala Opening Ceremony, on 23 September, the festival audience will see the Macedonian premiere of the short film The End of Time by director Milcho Manchevski, and immediately after it we will proceed with the screening of the Bulgarian – Macedonian coproduction “Directions”, directed by Stefan Komandarev.

The festival will close with the French film “Let the Sunshine in” directed by Claire Denis, where the cinematographer is Agnes Godard.

The Macedonian film “When the Day Had No Name” by the sisters Teona and Labina Mitevski, shot by the famous Agnes Godard, laureate of the Manaki Brothers Festival, will also be screened within the main competition.

This year’s recipient of the Special Camera 300 for Special Contribution to World Cinema Art is the Macedonian and world writer/director Milcho Manchevski. He will hold a master-class at the Manaki Brothers Film Festival, while the award will be ceremoniously presented to him at the closing festival ceremony, on 30 September.

Zoran Dimovski, the acting Director of the Center of Culture in Bitola, greeted the Festival Directors on his behalf and said that, like in the previous decades, the Center will put its facilities at disposal to the festival.

– The “Manaki Brothers” Festival is part of the history and culture of Bitola, and that is why we will help in the realization of another successful festival edition. And the 3D cinema will be another opportunity for the audience to enjoy films, said Dimovski.

In the Documentary Program, the festival audience will have the chance to see seven films from the latest international production.

– All seven documentaries contain the directorial concept of engagement which anticipates the presence of the ongoing issues in the existence of the action and unrest of the protagonists, said Gena Teodosievska, programmer and Festival Artistic Director.

This year the Countries in Focus are Denmark and Austria, and their cinemas will be presented at the festival with a selection of their latest film production.

The Mak Point Program has its own loyal audience every year among the authors from Macedonia, and there are more and more festival guests from the country and abroad who are interested in seeing it, in order to have an idea of what the latest Macedonian film production is.

The Program European Cinema Perspectives also continues, which is a festival insight into what is new and interesting in European cinema. The programmer of the European Film Perspectives is Vladimir Angelov.

This year too we continue with the tradition of the Student Program which gives us a peek into the work of the future filmmakers from the region. Students from 14 academies from the region will arrive in Bitola. Michele De Angelis will hold a master class for them.

They children will also enjoy the “Manaki Brothers”, we prepared the Junior Program for them, accompanied by surprises that will serve to boost their creativity.

The programmer of the Short Film Program is Jovanka Popova.

This year’s festival motto celebrates the light, cinema art and the city of Bitola and goes – “Movie On – Touch the Light, Feel Bitola”, while the Efectiva Agency was in charge of the festival’s visual identity.

The total festival budget is about 130 thousand EUR.

The festival management thanked the Hina Brand for the support and the recognition of quality in culture and the Alvogen Company for financing the master-classes of the international cinematographers coming to Bitola. They also thanked the Austrian, French, Israeli, Hungarian and German Embassies in Macedonia.