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Winterbottom’s Shining Star of Macedonian Sun

Born in Skopje, Macedonia, Labina Mitevska studied in the faculty of Art and Archaeology at the University of Sts Cyril and Methodius, as well as at the European Film College in Denmark and the University of Arizona's Department of Art History. Ever since she has been chosen by European Film Promotion as one of Europe's sixteen "Shooting Stars" of 1998 at the 48th annual Berlin International Film Festival, she is marking her way up-and-coming actress for the future. Admitted to the European Film Academy, she is joining other Southeastern European members, including Emir Kusturica, Dušan Makavejev, Ivan Ničev, Theo Angelopoulos and Stole Popov. She served as a jury member at several international film festivals, recently on the same position as a Jury on Cinema City Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia. "I became member of the Academy with the intention to work and fight for European film. I work and fight for the sake of art, not for the commercial industry. This why I accepted the invitation to become member of the European Film Academy I am a great "fighter" for the cause of the European film. Today, as we are being bombarded with the kitsch, the bad taste, and the vulgarity of American film, we forget the real worth of the "auteur film." " Labina stressed.

So far she has played in films made in different countries, on different languages, regarding that she stated "that acting in a foreign language is more difficult than acting in your native one, but this is not my primary concern since acting is what I do and I enjoy it. Acting is wonderful because you are the maker of your own work. How interestingly you do that are, how seducing it is for the audience, depends only on your work. I enjoy discovering new cultures, traditions, and music, and I bring these to the characters I play. "Still, star on the rise, talented, Labina Mitevska, Macedonian actor, counts her glory days date back from Mancheski’s film "Before Rain". "Before Rain" is recently winner of a title, the best foreign film of all times in America. Yet, this low international profile actress stands still, faithful to a Balkan Cinematography. As an artist she can not limit herself, she can not put limits and borders, because in films you do not look for a specific country, language, or director, but for a specific script and story. "I like all my roles and I am emotionally attached to them. I have had easier and more difficult roles, and I have worked with "easier and more difficult" directors. But at the end what remains is your moment on-screen and this makes me happy and fulfilled" Mitevska said.

Actors often state how preparations, shootings, make-up, costumes, reflectors, premiers, photo opportunities, all this is connected with acting. But work for public makes them forget the enormous sacrifices and efforts made, when they see the audiences' tears or smiles. Well, thanks to international acclaim in the past decade, and thanks to Winterbottom in film "Welcome To Sarajevo" and "I want you", also thanks to Southeastern European films such as Pred doždot (Before the Rain, 1994), Podzemlje (Underground, 1995), and To Vlemma tou Odyssea (Ulysses Gaze), Mitevska erects equal prominence, with Rade Šerbedžija and Miki Manojlović, in spite of her young age. Despite of her youth, Mitevska's filmography is very varied. Her film debut Zamira, a young Macedonian Albanian girl, in Pred doždot, is the winner of a Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion in 1994 and a Best Foreign Film nominee at the 1995 Academy Awards. She also appeared in a leading role in the Macedonian theatre production of Tuku Taka Pod Oblaka (All of a Sudden Under the Clouds), produced by Slobodan Unkovski and directed by Aleksandar Popovski and Darko Mitrevski and in Belgrade, in Ristić s Production. As far as world audience concerns, Mitevska raised lots of attention with an explicit love scene in the film. And at its Balkan premiere of Winterbottom’s "I Want You" Labina stated, "When I firstly saw and read the screenplay, I liked the part, and I was more relaxed when I heard that I Want You had a small team and a low budget and that the work would be done in very relaxed conditions. So, when the delicate scenes were shot, they were closed, which offered relaxing conditions for creative freedom."

Most recent Labina’s achievement would be Turkish film that is going to be shot very soon. I assume that Labina’s acting career, here, enters a brand new period. After Manchevski and Winterbottom she enters to the most promising European cinematography in recent time. Today, this intriguing actress holds fresh international accolades and a family-run production company, in order to assure to join the top ranks of her profession. Her company, Sisters and Brother Mitevski Productions today develops small productions. "My sister Teona is a director; I am an actress and co-producer, and my brother Vuk helps with the scenography. I am involved in the production business, but I plan to deepen this activity in my sister's films, and in my brother's art exhibitions. We agreed that now is the right moment to start with a foundation and a production company. My family has always followed creative initiatives and we decided that this initiative was the best way to continue with such a path. In the film industry it is difficult to realize your ideas as you see fit."
Radmila Djurica


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