28 June, Skopje – The first press-conference on the topic of the 39th edition of the International Cinematographers Film Festival “Manaki Brothers” took place today, and the Festival Director, Gena Teodosievska, announced another rich edition offering various content and a multitude of novelties.
This year’s laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement – Roger Deakins was announced at the press-conference, and the creative solutions for this year’s festival edition were also presented, along with the new slogan — “Hats Off” („Симнуваме капа“) as a token of respect for the festival’s tradition, the cinematographers, the city of Bitola and the audiences.
The McCann Ericksson is the agency behind the creative solutions this year, as the communication partner of the 39 edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers”. They say they drew their inspiration exactly from the respect to all filmmakers.
“Our inspiration were the timeless hats of the Manaki brothers and the city that they lived and worked in – Bitola. Our message is one of gratitude and respect for their work and the work of all the filmmakers that will and have participated at the Festival. We would like to say HATS OFF to everything that the International Cinematographers Film Festival “Manaki Brothers” stands for. Our hats float, fall, move, or are simply there, omnipresent over one of the most recognizable buildings that save and protect this city’s cultural heritage – the NI Institute and Museum – Bitola. This metaphor is transformed into a kind of an allusion and extraordinary magic, which we relate to films as well”, the McCann representatives say.
Festival Director Teodosievska said that this edition will mark an increase in the number of festival programmes, and that this year there will be a total of 14 of them. She also announced the new festival programmers: Marija Dzidzeva will work on the documentary programme, Darijan Pejovski and Marija Apchevska will be programmers of the short film programme, and Slagjan Penev will select the films for the “European Cinema Perspectives” programme.
“This festival has fostered and will continue to foster the exceptional universal values that cinema as a form of art has embedded in its ontological position, and which are reflected in our programmes – as many as 14 this year. The International Cinematographers Film Festival Manaki Brothers is very often recognized as a very specific and authentic film territory, because of the honest respect it pays to the master of the visual creation of film art, the cinematographers, but also due to the spontaneity that all festival guests encounter”, Teodosievska said.
She emphasized that this festival is the oldest and the first one in the world dedicated to the cinematographers’ creation and that this reputation should be further enhanced with the presence of the laureates and the cinematographers participating in the Main Competition Camera 300, as well as the master-classes held by the legends of the motion pictures.
“These are the names that the world cinematography has been created by in order to emphasize the vision and mission of this Festival, which also means that it is a must-be, an irreplaceable cultural space dedicated to the world cinematographers who are in the focus of the “Manaki Brothers” Festival as an important gathering devoted to them, valuing their creative achievements and awarding the most deserving among them with our traditional awards. This festival presents a particularly authentic film territory, where the system of establishing immediate connections between filmmakers is applied in a very subtle manner as a chance to exchange experiences, have myriad of diverse opinions and authors’ concepts and, one could say, a true European national treasure which extends and upgrades the promotion of both, Macedonian cinema, as well as the European and international film production. This claim can be supported by the numerous headlines in the press and the articles in the electronic media from the region and beyond”, the Festival Director added.
“To push the boundaries does not imply disrespect for what has been done so far, but adding different ingredients to a certain type of content in a sense does imply change but without rejecting the positive experiences built with decades by those who felt the urge to establish and organize a festival of this kind and to celebrate cinema in the city of the Manaki brothers. The “taste” of that change depends on the sensibility of those enacting it. That would mean all of us, this festival’s festival team, as well as you, as our collaborators. The existence of this symbiosis is undeniable and more than crucial”, Teodosievska said.
The President of the Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association, Igor Ivanov – Izi, also addressed the media, emphasizing that the Association remains committed to the Festival.
“The Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association remains committed to the “Manaki Brothers” Festival as its primary activity, through which, for almost four decades, the film professionals, the press and the audience from our country have had the opportunity to host and directly communicate with the crème de la crème of the seventh art. We are particularly proud that for years back, the world’s greatest names from among the authors whose task is to cinematically shape the most valuable film achievements in the World, regardless of whether they originate from art-house studios or are products of large-scale studies and carry the hallmark of cinema as art, see the invitation to participate or be honored with a prize at our festival as a great honor and recognition for their work. The “Manaki Brothers” this year will go through its so-called “transitional” edition, which we expect to be conducted in the best way possible and be the harbinger of the great jubilee next year, the fortieth “Manaki Brothers”, with which we, the film professionals from Macedonia, expect will start a decade of “New Macedonian Cinema” – an era free of politicization, stigmatization, false values and abuses. The new generations of film authors and audiences deserve this without any doubt, and our commitments in cooperation with the Film Agency and the other institutions in this area will be directed towards finally providing the conditions for creating and consuming cinema, according to the current European standards. I wouldn’t be happy if in future we end up without an Oscar representative again”, said Ivanov.
The festival Art Director, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, said that the prominence of this year’s laureate of the Lifetime Achievement “Golden Camera 300”, the great British and international cinematographer, the Oscar-winner Roger Deakins can be testified by the spectacular number of 115 different international cinema awards, along with 148 nominations.
“After several years of persistent attempts to bring one of the greatest living world cinematographers – Roger Deakins, in Macedonia/Bitola, we finally managed to get him, and in the same year when he finally became an Oscar-winning author for his creation in the already anthological work of art from his rich opus – BLADE RUNNER 2049. We, as organizers of the Manaki Brothers festival, believe that for the audience and for all film-lovers, the arrival of the Deakins couple in Bitola and Macedonia, as our top VIP guests, will be a great honor, a great pride and joy. We are convinced that we are in for another super-successful edition of the world’s oldest festival dedicated to the cinematographers’ art, which will be enriched by the biggest star of the 39 “Manaki Brothers” – the Oscar-winner and our laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement – Roger Deakins” , said Kunovski.
The Ambassador of Great Britain, his Excellency Charles Garrett also had an address at the press-conference, expressing his satisfaction that his compatriot and master of world cinema wins this year’s recognition of the “Manaki Brothers” Festival. “To us, cinema is a part of the creative industries, an area where we have achieved success. Thank you for inviting me, and my hat’s off”, Ambassador Garrett said.
This year’s edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” takes place from 22 to 29 September 2018 in Bitola. For more information about the festival please visit www.manaki.com.mk.