FILM IS BEAUTIFUL

The International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “MANAKI BROTHERS”, is the first and oldest international film festival dedicated to the creativity of cinematographers across the world. It started in 1979 at the initiative of one of the main founders - MFPA / Macedonian Film Professionals Association, and was co-organized with the host-city of Bitola and the Cinematheque of Macedonia, established in honor and inspired by the abundant photographic/cinematographic opus of the MANAKI brothers: Yanaki (1878-1954) and Milton (1880-1964). Thus, naturally, the cornerstones of the future festival were laid in Bitola, where the Manaki brothers had their photo-studio and cinema theater. Initially conceived as Manaki's Gatherings, and later on also as a festival of film camera of the former Yugoslav cinematographers, the festival grew with great potential so that after the Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Macedonia on 8 September 1991 it was transformed into an International Festival of world cinemas represented with feature films competing for the three festival awards: the Golden, Silver and Bronze Camera 300.


The "Manaki Brothers" Festival attracts Cannes' attention with the "Lens Thru Time" project

Cannes, 17 May, 2015 - the International Cinematographers Film Festival "Manaki Brothers", Bitola has widely attracted the attention of the international professional film audiences at the ongoing Film Festival in Cannes. The "Lens thru time" Project, which we prepared together with the Film Agency and the Cinematheque of Macedonia, found its place at this world festival. The postcards with the works of the Manaki brothers, the DVDs with Manaki's films released by the Macedonian Cinematheque, fliers with informative materials about the history of the first Balkan cinematographers, as well as the festival can be noticed at all more prominent info desks - the places where film professionals get their information from. What the film professionals found to be most interesting are the postcards we prepared for this occasion, the selection of photos for which was aided by photographer Robert Jankuloski. The promotional materials also included a brochure for promotion of Bitola and the "Bitola Filmland" project.
The incentive behind this project is the 110 anniversary of the Manaki's brothers creative opus.

Within the pavilion of the countries from Southeast Europe today (17 May), a party was held attended by several hundred guests, festival representatives, producers, directors, distributors. We offered our festival friends, as well as our prospective collaborators, a nice surprise. Our friends from the "Tikvesh" Winery provided an authentic gift - the finest red wine "Barovo", ranked with the highest ratings by world-renowned wine critics from the caliber of Robert Parker, with a wine label designed especially for this occasion. The film professionals assessed the realization of the "Lens thru time" Project very highly.

Shahla Nahid, a film critic from France, who was a guest at the Manaki Brothers Festival two years ago, pointed out that the presence at big festivals is mandatory, in order for the world to get to know about us. This is the right way. Once you start doing this, just keep on moving forward. The fact that your pavilion is crowded and that the interest to participate at the festival, and on the market in general, increases from year to year, shows us that it is the right way for the film industry. This is the proof. It really meant a lot to me when I was given the invitation to attend your party in person, immediately after the press-screening. I have never been approached like that before, and it's the real thing. I have been at your festival and I love it dearly, and this is the way you need to present it to the world so that the world gets to know you better - Nahid pointed out.

A great friend of our festival is also the film critic Phillip Bergson. He emphasized that Macedonia has got what to be proud of and praised the promotional materials.
- I am a friend of the "Manaki" Festival. It is very important to have finely conceived events, not ones prepared in a slap-dash manner. I noticed that this year many new people showed up at the party who had not been here before. Some of them had heard about your festival, while others didn't even know about Macedonia, but can get to know about it at events like these. Especially when they are offered to leave with such inspirational promotional materials and fine wine. It is important that you relate the festival to an enticing story so that more people would desire to visit beautiful Bitola - Bergson said.

The Festival Director, Dimitar Nikolov, was also satisfied with the presentation and project turnout. I have gotten to know a lot of people as a distributor and now when I present myself in a different light they react very positively to it. They are willing to cooperate, they like the ideas we have and they want to join in. I find it to be a good sign, since with the pace we started working on this festival in April and with the realization of ideas, although it's my first, it will largely fulfill the expectations. It is too early to talk about September. The people responded well to the materials. For example, the spouse of the Albanian producer and director Bujar Alimani took lots of our materials in her bag and told me that she will show everyone in Greece and Albania what a good promotion we had prepared. The party also went really well. I've been coming regularly to Cannes in the past six to seven years and I really cannot remember such crowds at a party - Nikolov believes.
The party was attended by directors of European film funds, as well as an important representative of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism of Italy.
The Festival in Cannes will close on the 24 May.

Press release - Skopje, 4 May 2015

Skopje, 4 May 2015 – The International Cinematographers Film Festival "Manaki Brothers" - Bitola will present itself at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, which takes place from 13 to 24 May. The entire project is being realized in collaboration with the Film Agency of the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian Cinematheque. The motto under which we will present ourselves is a "Lens thru time".

The festival will be presented within the South-East European Pavilion. In the year when the world, and especially Cannes, celebrate 120 years since the first screening of the Lumière Brothers, Macedonia and the Balkans also have what to be proud of - the 110 anniversary since the work of the first photographers and cinematographers at the Balkans. At today's press-conference, the Festival Director, Dimitar Nikolov, explained what the purpose of our presentation at Cannes is. Promotional materials of various kinds (cards, brochures, fliers, DVDs with the Manaki Brothers' films...) will be presented to prominent persons from the film industry, sales agents, distributors.

- The promotion in Cannes is very important from several aspect. During the festival days, Cannes is the center of the film world and that's why thought we could take advantage of it to promote our own festival. We would like to draw as much attention as possible to our festival. Moreover, we would like to provide the festival with as much support as possible from European film funds. We have prepared interesting promotional materials, and it would be even more important for us to meet the representatives of the film industry. Those are our potential guests for the 36th festival edition. The 110 years jubilee of the Manaki Brothers is a strong ace up our sleeve - Nikolov said. The original idea for a presentation at Cannes came from the Art Director of the "Manaki Brothers", Blagoja Kunovski.

- When the web-site of the 68th Cannes Film Festival announced that the 120 year anniversary since the first film footage and the birth of film by French brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière are being celebrated, I sat down and wrote the draft-project for Cannes, bearing in mind the great and inevitable occasion - 110 years since the creation of the Manaki Brothers. Therefore, the focus will be on the festival with its past 35 editions and the photographic and cinematographic opus of the Manaki Brothers; at the same time, this is also an excellent occasion to promote Macedonian cinematography, in collaboration with the Film Agency, the Film Professionals' Association and the Macedonian Cinematheque - Kunovski said.

Within this unique presentation in Cannes, we have also prepared a special surprise for the most distinguished guests, the representatives of festivals and film institutions. For them all, our friends from the Tikvesh Winery have provided an authentic gift from Macedonia - the superb red wine "Barovo" ranked with the highest ratings by world-renowned wine critics from the caliber of Robert Parker, with a wine label designed especially for this occasion.
The promotional materials will also feature a brochure for promotion of Bitola and the "Bitola Filmland" project. For this goal we got the support of the Mayor of Bitola, Vladimir Taleski, as well as the Director of the Center of Culture, Borche Dimitrovski.

Oscar-winner Ryszard Lenczewski comes to collect his three festival awards

The great Polish cinematographer, Ryszard Lenczewski will finally be our guest at the "Manaki Brothers" Festival. After winning three official competition awards: the Golden one for the Last Resort from 2001, the Bronze one for My Summer of Love from 2005, and the Silver one for Ida, 2014, Lenczewski will honor us with his presence at the oncoming festival.

Art Director Kunovski announced that one of the main guests at the 36th festival edition will be the Polish academy-award winner, and triple winner of awards at our festival.
- We have been trying to get him for years, and this year he finally accepted. It was exactly at the "Manaki Brothers" Festival that he was presented with the first major award for his work. Therefore, it is a particular honor that we have continually followed his work and adequately rewarded it. Those are all good indications that we are making steps towards a good quality edition - said Kunovski.
Lenczewski, along with Lukasz Zal were nominated for Oscar for best cinematography for the film "Ida" this year.

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