Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival


They are both directors who in this recent time of fake and true information, empty franchises and laboratory art-films, tried to find a short film form that still stands strong.

This year’s short film competition program selected by Apchevska and Pejovski consists of works which open more questions than they give answers. The selectors chose 9 films in which the cinematographers’ share is an unbreakable part of the film narration.

What did you wanted to do with your choice and did you achieve that?

Marija Apchevska: There were great films that came in in loads, and we were really pleased with the choice we could make. We chose 9 films which are different: we wanted diversity in the program, different topics to be included, different styles, the films to come from different countries… We think we made a good choice. It is up to the audience and the critics to say their thoughts.

Darijan Pejovski: The answer to the question if we have achieved what we wanted depends on what sort of films came in. I think that the competition was quite tough in the films offered…

Was the fact that you are both directors an obstacle or a benefit?

Darijan Pejovski: It was more of an obstacle because we both know, as directors, what does it feel like to be rejected from a festival. We surely had our sympathies towards all the films that have applied, and the hardest job was to choose only 9 films. But, anyway, I think that all the films which made it to the official short film competition are truly quality works. It is a really good thing that we have two Macedonian films, and we continue the tradition of promoting young Macedonian cinematographers through this short film program.

Marija Apchevska: I absolutely agree with Darijan. The choice wasn’t easy, we have also been on that other side, and we will still be in the future, so it was some kind of a handicap. I think that we would have been happier if we had the opportunity to select more films because there were great works, but we had to stick to the number.

Did something click during the selection process, something of the sort of proximity to your author sensibility in the directors that had applied?

Marija Apchevska: There were films that were close to our sensibility, but didn’t make the final cut, and the other way around, film which weren’t close to us in terms of sensibility, but had other qualities and were worth of screening as part of the program.

Darijan Pejovski: The biggest problem was to get around our taste and sensibility and try to be, so to say, objective towards all the different styles and genres. I think that we succeeded in staying true to our objectivity from that aspect.