Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival


September 29, Bitola – At the last press-conference of this year’s edition of the Manaki Brothers, the official competition for Golden Camera 300 selector, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore introduced the film Girl, a Belgian-Dutch co-production. A guest at the festival is the cinematographer from The Netherlands, Frank van den Eeden.

-I selected this film with great pleasure. As critics, it is always our duty to look at the official competition in Berlin, Cannes and you have to be careful in the choice. The director is a new talent among the critics, but the cinematographer also contributes to the attention the film has, Kunovski says.

The interesting thing for the attendees was the fact that the film is bilingual. The main character Lara speaks French with her dad, and she speaks Dutch in the hospital.

-I think the language thing can be new and confusing for the audience, but, in my opinion, it is a typical Belgian thing because of the two different language areas in Belgium. There is no special reason for the bilingualism in the film, but we just wanted to showcase something that is part of the life in Belgium. They come from Brussels, where they speak French, but then they move to Antwerp and speak Dutch there. By the way, this is a true story, Lara really exists, I met the girl during the filming, but she didn’t want to be too exposed and she didn’t interfere in the script. When the film was screened, she introduced herself to the Belgian media, she was very brave and wanted to support the idea of discussions about trans-gender people, Van den Eeden talked.

Victor Polster played the role of Lara and it is a general rate that he is a very good choice of the director for this role.

-It was more of a lucky choice, as he has never before been in front of a camera. He is a professional dancer, he had experience with working in front of an audience, but he hadn’t had experience in front of a camera. We didn’t know how he will react to the filming, as he was in every shot, each day and he was happy with the choice, Van den Eeden explained.

He didn’t know the director of the film, Lukas Dhont, from before.

-I met him when he handed me the script and he said that he wants someone more experienced in the crew so the problems can be overcome easier. I liked the way he made the script. It was all quite focused and after reading 10 pages of it I knew it is a well-written script, Van den Eeden.

Tonight, at the closing ceremony of the ICFF Manaki Brothers, the short feature film Scout by the director Alex Cvetkov will be screened, who is actually a son of Rok Cvetkov, a famous stunt coordinator with a Macedonian descent. The film crew was introduced today at the press-conference.

-I am very pleased that the film of the young Macedonian talented and creative director Alex Cvetkov will be screened at the closing ceremony of the Festival. Part of the crew are: Rok Cvetkov, actor and stunt coordinator who has worked on many films in Europe and Hollywood, Vanja Sremac from the Croatian audio-visual center, Tjasa Perko, who is part of the crew, and Dejan Dimeski, cinematographer, recipient of the Bronze Camera 300 last year, the director of the Manaki Brothers festival Gena Teodosievska said.

Alex Cvetkov talked about the atmosphere of growing up in a family connected to film art.

-It is truly a special feeling. When I was younger, I was present at shootings with my dad the whole time. I think I made my dad’s dream come true when I signed up for film directing school, as he worked so much he didn’t have the time to go to school. It is especially significant for me to have made the first film with him. I was nervous, I was scared because I had a very experienced crew and I thought that I won’t fulfill their expectations, but they truly believed in me and supported me. I met Dejan Dimeski at the shooting, he brought all his experience and we did the film wonderfully, Alex Cvetkov said.

-The collaboration with Alex was a wonderful experience. He stands out from all the first-time filmmakers I know, he simply lets nothing to case, with no preparations. We showcase the struggle against the contemporary technology and how we can all become slaves of technology. There were moments when Rok helped us quite a lot with his experience, Dejan Dimeski pointed out.

-I work on film from a very young age, I wanted to be a director, and I didn’t have the opportunity for that, but I transferred my love to my son. It was my honor to work with him on his first film and that he let me do the scenes with racing cars the way I wanted, Rok Cvetkov, the father of the director Alex, talked.

Igor Nola and Vanja Sremac are producers of the film.

-The film is a co-production of Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia and we practically lived there while shooting and producing the film. It was really interesting to hear how Alex sees the world. He is very active on social media. We were mainly shooting in Slovenia in Koper, and in Trieste in Italy, but the post-production was done mainly here in Macedonia. The visual effects are an important part of the film and they were done by an animation house from Macedonia, and we were supported by the Macedonian Film Agency, which recognized the film and supported us, Vanja Sremac said.

Tjasa Perko is part of the film family Cvetkov and is part of the crew of the film Scout.

-It was a pleasure to be part of this film. It is always a pleasure to work with my family. I am also a filmmaker by heart, but not on the artistic part, on the business part of the film. When you have many artists, you have to build an industry, Tjasa said.

The guests at the festival visited Ohrid last night as a representative example of the Macedonian cultural and natural treasure, for some of them it wasn’t their first visit, but they still didn’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the beauties of Ohrid once again.

The last day of this year’s edition of the ICFF Manaki Brothers goes by in the light of awaiting for the names of the recipients of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300, which are awarded to the best cinematographers of the films from the official program Camera 300. Aside of these three main awards, the Small Camera 300 will also be awarded in the short films competition.

Other than the film Scout, which will be screened out of competition, the audience at the Center for Culture in Bitola will also have the opportunity to see the last film from the official program, Blackkklansman, directed by Spike Lee.