21 September, Bitola – For the end of the 40th edition of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival tonight, numerous film workers walked the red carpet, as well as the members of the MFPA, representatives from the Film Agency, the Municipality of Bitola, lovers of the film art and the audience of Bitola – all in the honor of the creation of the best cinematographers.
During the past festival days, this 40th edition celebrated the jubilee with the best people of the film art, with Ed Lachman, Ljupcho Konstantinov, Jose Luis Alcaine, Jim Sheridan, Rainer Klausmann, Fatih Akin, John Mathieson, Nigel Walters, Paul Rene Roestad, Angus Hodges, Tudor Mircea, Atanas Georgiev, Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma, Eric Gautier, Roberto Barrueco, Gleb Filatov, Frank Griebe, Stefche Hadzi-Antonoski, Bettina Hirsch, Eleonora Veninova, Sevdije Kastrati, Florenc Papas, Ivar Taim, Ivan Marinovic, Giorgos Karvelas, Arto Halonen, Joonas Pulkkanen, Urska Cukic Kimkovska, Constanza Sandoval, Katharina Wahl, Alberto Marchiori, Marina Tizon and Tomas Martin Garcia…
Eight days, five locations, 128 film titles created around the globe form film artists from around 50 countries in the world, put into 14 festival programs. The festival guests and the audience from Bitola will take away images which will follow them forever, they will talk about them, they might even use them for a new film story.
-We saw how for 40 years we know how to dance with the light, to touch the stars, to speak to the clouds and to enjoy in what the lens captures of the light. That is also how these days went by, in this spirit in which we showed that we can never speak of destruction if you have in mind the power of the breath of life, the major of Bitola, Natasha Petrovska, said, and wished for many more successful editions of the festival where we would plant a seed for something more in the future.
The traditional awards Golden Camera 300, Silver Camera 300, Bronze Camera 300, and Small Camera 300 were awarded at the closing ceremony of the 40th jubilee edition of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers”. The decision was made by the jury consisting of Ed Lachman, Kaloyan Bozhilov, Dominique Welinski, Fejmi Daut and Nenad Dukic.
-I would first like to congratulate the organizers of this festival, to the director Gena Teodosievska and the artistic director and main program selector Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, on the amazing festival, which celebrates the film art. We celebrated the jubilee of this exceptional, authentic, highly professional and oldest festival in the world that nurtures, respects and values the creation of the cinematographers who tell successful stories, but we should first of all have in mind the fact that film is a visual medium, and it sometimes becomes visual art when in the hands of the real masters, such as the ones we had at this festival. On the one hand, Blagoja made the selection very pleasant, but on the other hand, very tough. The good side, the fact that we were pleased to watch very good films, and also with good camerawork, and on the other hand, it was tough to select a winner. At the end, we had to choose one, Nenad Dukic said, speaking on behalf of the jury.
The Golden Camera 300 was received by the cinematographer Helene Louvart for the film The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao.
-For the subtlety in the use of color and the strong compositions to reveal the emotions of the characters that brings us closer to the story. Helene Louvart demonstrates masterfully what cinematography can be and its psychological strength to tell the story, the members of the jury think.
The award was taken by Eric Gautier on behalf of Helene Louvart, as a year-long friend and colleague of hers.
-Of course I am not Helene Louvart, Gautier joked a bit. She should be in Croatia at the moment, I tried to reach her on the phone, but it was off because she’s probably shooting, but I am very happy for her. She is a brave woman, an exceptional cinematographer who is brave and fights not only for women that are colleagues of hers, but also for art. I know that she would be very happy. She doesn’t know I am here and that I take the award on her behalf. I thank the jury, and I especially thank my dear friend Ed Lachman, Gautier said.
The cinematographer Jinsong Dong received the Silver Camera 300 for the film The Wild Goose Lake, for, as the jury said, “the quality of the photography using light and colors, especially in the night scenes. Strong stylization of the photography and a nightmarish world for the characters that enhance the story”.
The cinematographer of the film Piranhas, Daniele Cipri is the recipient of the Bronze Camera 300, for the use of controlled naturalism and the strength of the framing and light along with the fluid camera movement, and a Special Mention was awarded to Jolanta Dilewska, the cinematographer of the film Ayka, for the use of camera in a visceral way that expresses the emotion of the leading character in both visual and dramaturgical way.
-I couldn’t come to Bitola to be with you tonight because I am shooting my new film in Reggio Calabria, but I am really glad that I received this award and I am very thankful. As every film, this one is also a collective work and, although multiple people deserve this award, I will keep it for myself. I hope that next year I can participate at the festival in Bitola with my own film, Daniele Cipri said in his video message for the award win.
The Small Camera 300 was received by the cinematographer Constanza Sandoval from Argentina, for the film Monster God, for the poetics of the image and the muted color rendition of the story, and a Special Mention was received by Guillaume le Grontec for the film The Van, for the use of hand held camera which supports the major aspects of the story, and the use of colors in its expressive way.
-This award means a lot to me, I love this festival and in this moment I couldn’t be happier, thank you, Constanza Sandoval said, who has travelled all the way from Argentina to Bitola to be part of the ICFF “Manaki Brothers”.
Tonight, we bowed to another film wizard in this 40th jubilee year of the “Manaki Brothers” festival, Yorgos Arvanitis. For almost six decades he has lit and shaped images with exceptional beauty in more than hundreds feature films throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. He captures clarity with unsurpassed elegance in the melancholic world of the directors, gives texture and depth with his camera even to the ghostly and laconic characters, and he has worked with Theo Angelopoulos, Jean Jacques Andrien, Dinos Katsouridis, Pantelis Voulgaris, Volker Schlöndorff, Michael Cacoyannis, Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Marco Bellocchio, Agnieszka Holland, Bruno Podalydès, Goran Paskaljevic, Marco Ferreri… Arvanitis was awarded with the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement.
-It is an honor to be at this festival and to be together with all the great cinematographers. It’s my honor to be present at this festival that appreciates the image and the cinematography, and I am especially honored that I am here, as my roots are somewhere around here, as I am a Vlach, Arvanitis said, thanking once more for the invite and the given honors.
The award was presented to Arvanitis by the festival director Gena Teodosievska, who thanked the whole team of the festival for the support, the love and the passion for the film art, which has worked all these past days so that the other can feel this festival as their own.
-I tried to be a woman form Bitola as much as I could, it’s not easy, but we will try to continue to keep the spirit of Bitola, of cosmopolitan Bitola that loves film and loves this festival. I thank everyone that touched this festival, and to the Film Agency and the director Gorjan Tozija, who with his support helped us raise this festival. They increased the budget this year and we hope that they will keep raising it. Every story has its end, but we will not allow this to be the end, only a new beginning in the eyes of the 41st edition of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “Manaki Brothers” and I hope that this hall will once again be full with the ones who really love, adore, and value film. This year my motto is “The ones who ask, bring the light”, so let’s ask to bring light because we all need it, Teodosievska said.
The film Manaki – Story in Pictures by Robert Jankuloski was screened at the closing ceremony of the festival. Tonight on the stage were the members of the crew, Robert Jankuloski, Meto Jovanovski, Monika Moteska.
-This is a holy place for us cinematographers. This film is a result to my research of the film work by the Manaki brothers, we worked on it for 6 years, guided by the words of Milton Manaki – “one image for me, one for the history”. All of us who create certain works are responsible in front of history and we should do that the best we can so we can prove these words, Jankuloski said.