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The ICFF “Manaki Brothers” this year will not be held as a festival edition


At event devoted to the marking of the 41st edition of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “Manaki Brothers”, which was held on 19th of September, at the Museum in Bitola, we saw the arrival of the festival admirers from Bitola, the Minister for Culture, Irena Stefoska, the director of the Film Agency, Gorjan Tozija, film professionals, representatives of the diplomatic cors, lovers of the film art. The patron of the festival, the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, addressed the attending guests, saying that the “Manaki Brothers” is one of the most significant cultural events in our country, which has a rich history, much enthusiasm and love for the film art entwined in it.

“Thanks to this festival, Bitola and our country have been recognized in the world of cinema. Unfortunately, this year we don’t have the red carpet and the recognizable glamour in front of the Center for Culture in Bitola, we don’t have the film screenings and crowded theaters, we don’t have our dear guests from the world of film. The Covid-19 pandemic changed all the plans and affected the programme planned for the 41st edition of the “Manaki Brothers”. However, the tradition continues, and the festival keeps on going in a shorter and adapted form”, said president Pendarovski.

The president Stevo Pendarovski

He congratulated this year’s awards recipients: Janusz Kamiński, laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, and Stole Popov, who was awarded with the MFPA award “Big Star of Macedonian Film”.


The “Big Star of Macedonian Film” award, which is awarded by the Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association, this year went in the hands of one of the most prominent people of the Macedonian cinematography, the director Stole Popov. The award was ceremonially presented to him by the president of the MFPA, Igor Ivanov, who pointed out that the national point is exceptionally important to go from in the film art more than in any other.

Kees van Oostrum, the newly elected president of IMAGO, the International Federation of Cinematographers, addressed the attendees via video message. IMAGO has recognized the “Manaki Brothers” festival as a partner ever since 1995. “It is incredible that the members of the Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association are still keeping up the festival in good shape”, said Mr. van Oostrum.


An exciting moment at the marking of the 41st edition of the “Manaki Brothers” was the addressing of this year’s laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement, the Oscar-winner Janusz Kamiński, the big Polish-American and world cinematographer, who started his addressing in Macedonian: “Zdravo, prijateli, kako ste? (Hello, friends, how are you?) It is my great honor that I am the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award from the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “Manaki Brothers”. It seems that I am the youngest recipient. Still, they say that years are just a number. I would like to also congratulate to all the film professionals who have been acknowledged by the festival for their work. Congratulations.


I can’t wait to visit Bitola, I can’t wait to take a picture in front of the monument representing the Manaki brothers. Such inventors! Such innovators! They have created the contemporary cinematography! Besides that, I can’t explain to you how happy I am that I will visit Macedonia and drink Mastika. I am not much of a drinker, but I like tasting various types of alcohol.

On the other hand, on a more personal level, I have to say that I am in such luck to be a cinematographer. I think that it is the most wonderful vocation in the world, to be able to express yourself aesthetically and artistically through light and shadows. It is an art form which slowly, but surely disappears. I would like to accent the importance of the visual storytelling. I would like to accent the importance of light and shadows. To all the young cinematographers watching me, I would give them the advice to work on their art, you have to work on your craft. The thing is not in just showing a picture, the point is in the visual metaphors, in telling a story through composition, the camera movement, and the lights and shadows.

I wish good luck to everyone. I once again thank you for this award. As I already said – I can’t wait to see you in Macedonia”, said Mr. Kamiński.


The director of the “Manaki Brothers”, Gena Teodosievska, spoke on behalf of the festival, saying that the next edition of the festival is already in preparations.

“We are preparing a high-quality programme to invite film artists who will be the real heroes of the new pictures, to be our guests and visitors of our whole country, the region, as it was in the last couple of years. I would like to thank everyone who loves the festival, who supports it, and who supports the film art, as much as it is interesting, as much as it is, maybe, complex, but you always try to enter its picture as thought you are part of it”, said Ms. Teodosievska.


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