Manaki Brothers - International Cinematographers’ Film Festival


July 10, Skopje – At today’s third press conference devoted to the jubilee edition of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “Manaki Brothers”, the festival director Gena Teodosievska announced the second laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, the world renowned cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis.

“This year, the two recipients of the Lifetime Achievement award will be present in Bitola and the Golden Camera will be given to them at the opening and the closing ceremonies of the Festival in Bitola and that will mark the start and the end of the 40th edition of the oldest film festival in the Republic of North Macedonia. Giorgos Arvanitis is a Greek-French or French-Greek cinematographer who has worked with great film names, as well as promising debutantes”, Teodosievska said.

The attendees had the opportunity to listen to the video message by Giorgos Arvanitis, who thanked us for the award from the bottom of his heart and said that it is a great honor for him to be a laureate of such an old and distinguished film festival as the “Manaki Brothers”.

Konstantinos Prokakis, media and communications councilor at the Embassy of the Republic of Greece, also addressed the journalists at the press conference, thanking the organizers for inviting him to the press meeting and expressed his pleasure with the choice of the laureate. “We are very grateful and honored by this invite. I would like to point out that a higher level of mutual understanding has been achieved in the relations between the Republic of Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia in the recent period, and I think that film and the film industry are a very good starting point. We are also very honored that the Festival, as a very famous institution and one with a great history, decided to award the Greek cinematographer Giorgos Arvanitis, and that doubles the honor for Greece and for the recipient”, Prokakis said, also announcing a new Greek film festival in Skopje.

Emmanuel Rimbert, director of the French Insitute in Skopje and councilor for culture at the Embassy of France said there are three reasons to be happy that this cinematographer is chosen to be the recipient of the Golden Camera 300.

“The first reason is an artistic and essential one, and it is the fact that you decided to give this significant award to a great artist. Through that, you showed that, following the signing of the Prespa Agreement, the cultural connections are especially important and help us in overcoming all the difficulties we might have. I visited the French Institute in Thessaloniki past Monday and we tried to come up with a cultural and educational program for the citizens of the two countries, especially the youth, to be brought closer together through the culture and the French language. The third reason for my pleasure is that you chose a cineaste who is Greek, lives in France and who is a francophone; that is why I give you great compliments and I wish you a beautiful festival”, Rimbert said.

The director Teodosievska informed the attendees that Massimo Lechi, the biographer of Arvanitis, will also come to Bitola and will run a Master Class. As a selector of the documentary program, she also pointed out that it will also inevitably include Greek documentary films because of the rise of this genre in the Greek cinematography. “The documentary film is especially respected in Greece, both by the film funds and from the filmmakers and the public broadcaster, the Greek television, and are aided by many sponsors which is not the case in our country. That is why we will also have a dynamic Greek documentary film production this year”, Teodosievska said.

“There is no need to point out that Arvanitis is a great name of the Greek and world cinematography, especially with his collaborator, the great director of European and world film Theo Angelopoulos”, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, the artistic director of the Festival, said. “They practically made a Decalogue the way Kieslowski made it for Poland. Speaking of the Angelopoulos – Arvanitis tandem, it is a journey through history, most commonly the frustrations and the traumas of the fascism occupation, then the liberation; they are both clear leftists with progressive understandings and it all practically started with the 1970 film Reconstruction”, Kunovski said.

He pointed out that those two made a Decalogue of films, many of which are masterpieces, most commonly promoted at the Cannes Film Festival and receiving the Golden Palm for the film “Eternity and a Day” in 1998. He also pointed out the collaboration of Arvanitis with the legendary director Costa-Gavras.

The director Teodosievska also informed the attendees about the new collaborations of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” with the Bacal Festival from Barcelona and the Short Waves Festival from Poznan, Poland, and another children festival from the Czech Republic, which will enrich the program of the “Manaki Brothers”.

From today, the best European films that were part of the “Manaki Brothers” program will start their journey through the cities of Macedonia.

“Our idea is to generate as much film audience as possible in those places where there is no constant cinema screening practice. Over the course of  July 2019 – June 2020 period, we will encourage the film lovers through multiple cities in Macedonia to join us in seeing the stories that won the European audience over, with some taste of domestic cinema. We will make this idea happen with the support of the Creative Europe Media program, and the realization of this idea will include the members of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers” team. We start with the Drimon festival in Struga”, Teodosievska said.

The leading people of the Festival gave their respect to the late Pierre Lhomme, Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement laureate from 2017, Stefan Sidovski – Sido and the Macedonian director Kiril Cenevski.