Definition August 2024 - Web


COME TOGETHER Top cinematographers across the globe will flock to Bitola, North Macedonia later this year for a seven-day extravaganza

to make it possible for them to meet the greatest masters. The first internationally renowned cinematographer that came away with our life achievement award was Sven Nykvist, Ingmar Bergman’s cinematographer and, since then, a whole line of fantastic filmmakers kept coming to Bitola; this small town of less than 70,000 people.” What makes the festival especially beloved is its intimate atmosphere. Filmmakers can relax with their peers, having meaningful conversations over a glass of wine. The organisers even take them to a beautiful lake nearby, a serene environment to discuss their craft. As well as providing an enchanting setting for filmmakers, the festival has become a transformative force for Bitola and Macedonia at large. “The festival also helps the local community, through bringing many visitors and tourists here,” explains Damevski. “Bitola has become known as the film city in Macedonia, making it a popular filming location. In turn, this has helped the population grow its economy. “Also, as Macedonia became independent, the festival has gained tremendous attention,” he continues. “It’s become the biggest film festival in our country – and it’s become one of the biggest international cultural events in our country. We are now a festival

under the patronage of the country as a whole – this year, the president will come to open the festival and hand out the life achievement award and our special contribution award, our two most prestigious prizes.” Looking to the future, a partnership with IMAGO is seeking to better conditions for cinematographers, while a key focus for the festival is amplifying the work of women in the field. “We’re making our festival a platform for more inclusion in the profession – and we’re trying to make sure that the incredible films by female cinematographers are represented at our festival and have an equal spot in the filmmaking industry.” Despite rising costs and various challenges, the Manaki Brothers Film Festival enters its 45th year in excellent health, with Damevski attributing its enduring appeal to the particular magic of the atmosphere and location. “You can actually spend time with people – not just a brief meeting. We are a small town and we don’t have big hotels, but we have fantastic food, fresh trout from the lake and wonderful wine. Visitors can go swimming in one of the oldest lakes in the world, they go horseback riding, they enjoy the Byzantine architecture. It’s a very special place.” The festival runs 21-27 September. See for more information

the Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300 – named after the brothers’ legendary camera. Damevski emphasises the festival’s commitment to supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers. “Our purpose is to serve them from their earliest age with a student programme, where we see young students’ incredible talent, but without the technical and financial abilities to fully express this talent. We notice them, and invite them to come back to us later when they have a larger film or a short film with a bigger budget. Then, we invite them again when they have their first feature film. We want to help them grow.” The festival also provides a unique platform for young filmmakers to meet and learn from seasoned professionals. Damevski notes: “Part of that growth is



Powered by