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Manaki Brothers Film Festival



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-AFPM/the Association of Film Professionals of Macedonia (which also marks its 65 jubilee this year), 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), whose 135 birth anniversary is to be celebrated this year as well. Thus, naturally, the cornerstones of the future festival were laid, in the town at the foot of Pelister, the City of Consuls - 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. Thus Bitola became the Mecca of the best international cinematographers, discovering many new talents who are today deemed superb wizards of film photography and cinema aesthetics, adorned with the awards of our festival, and at the same time recognized as glorious Oscar-winners who have strolled down the streets of Bitola, which they have considered to be an artistic hub, for years back.

Apart from the multitude of laureates of the awards from the CAMERA 300 competition, the Manaki Brothers is also proud of its CLUB OF GREATS, which features the greatest world masters of cinematography/photography who have been awarded the two highest, honorary awards: the "Lifetime Achievement Award Golden Camera 300" and The Special Award Golden Camera 300, for "Outstanding Contribution to World Film Art". After the posthumously presented Golden Camera 300 for Lifetime Achievement to Milton MANAKI, on the 17th Festival in 1996, and the following year, in 1997, the Golden Cameras 300 for Lifetime Achievement went to the Macedonian doyens - cinematographers Ljube PETKOVSKI and Branko MIHAJLOVSKI, while in the oncoming editions to date, laureates of these precious awards have been great cinematographers of world cinema art, such as: Sven NYKVIST, Henry ALEKAN, Freddie FRANCIS (as President of the Jury back then, he also initiated and bestowed the honorary membership of Miltion and Yanaki, the MANAKI brothers into the world-renowned British Society of Cinematographers - BSC, whose original certificate is framed and preserved in the office of the Manaki Brothers Film Festival in Skopje). Jose Luis ALCAINE (also in the role of president of the international jury), Jerzy WÓJCIK, Raoul COUTARD, Vittorio STORARO (president of the jury), Vadim YUSOV, Miroslav ONDŘÍČEK, Tonino Delli COLLI, Walter CARVALHO, Michael BALLHAUS, Vilmos ZSIGMOND (also president of the jury), Billy WILLIAMS, Peter SUSCHITZKY (also president of the jury), Dante SPINOTTI (also president of the jury), Anatoli PETRITSKY, Luciano TOVOLI (also president of the jury), Chris MENGES; while the winners of the second-in-rank award are: Christopher Doyle, Anthony Dod MANTLE, Robby MÜLLER, Bruno Delbonnel, Roger PRATT, Christian BERGER, Agnès GODARD, Luca BIGAZZI; as well as the actors: Victoria ABRIL, Daryl HANNAH, Catherine DENEUVE, Isabelle HUPPERT, Juliette BINOCHE, Charles DANCE, Miki MANOJLOVIC and the directors: Jerzy MENZEL, Veljko BULAJIĆ, Karen SHAKHNAZAROV and Menahem GOLAN, as well as the double Academy Award winner –producer, Branko LUSTIG. Many of these great cinematographers in the role of presidents or members of the main jury, have contributed in significantly increasing the importance of the award for the winners.

 

WINNERS OF THE GOLDEN CAMERA 300 FOR FILMS IN THE "CAMERA 300" COMPETITION:

Vilko FILAČ (1993, for the film ARIZONA DREAM); Gérard SIMON (1994, LOUS, THE INFANT KING); Stefan KULLÄNGER (1995, BETWEEN SUMMERS); Masao NAKABORI (1996, MABOROSI); Sergey ASTAKHOV (1997, BROTHER); Walter CARVALHO (1998, CENTRAL STATION); Jacek PЕTRYCKI (1999,  A WAY TO THE SUN); Andreas HÖFER (2000, THE LEGEND OF RITA); Ryszard LENCZEWSKI (2001, LAST RESORT); Walter CARVALHO (2002, TO THE LEFT OF THE FATHER); Christopher DOYLE (2003,  HERO); Rainer KLAUSMANN (2004, HEAD ON); Yang SHU (2005, PEACOCK); Stéphane FONTAINE (2006, THE BEAT THAT MY HEART SKIPPED); Dragan MARKOVIC (2007, DEAD AND ALIVE); Rodrigo PRIETO (2008, LUST, CAUTION); Natasha BRAIER (2009, THE MILK OF SORROW); Martin GSCHLACHT (2010, WOMEN WITHOUT MEN); Fred KELEMEN (2011, THE TURIN HORSE); Jolanta DYLEWSKA (2012, IN DARKNESS); Kiko de la RICA (2013, SNOW WHITE); Valentyn VASYANOVYCH (2014, THE TRIBE).

When on 4 March, the day when we traditionally honor the grave of Milton Manaki in Bitola, it was announced on the Cannes Film Festival's web-site that the 120 anniversary of the first film footage and the birth of film by the French LUMIERE Brothers - Louis and  Auguste will be commemorated and on this occasion tribute will also be paid to other great brothers-directors tandems, laureates of the Cannes Festival - starting from the first tandem in the position of Presidents of the Main Jury - Americans Joel and Ethan COEN, as well as the Belgians Jean-Pierre and Luc DARDENNE, the Italians Paolo and Vittorio TAVIANI - this logically and naturally inspired us to add in the line of these brother tandems, the second ones in rank according to their significance to the world cinema art, both historically and chronologically - our very own MANAKI brothers - Milton and Yanaki, whom we proudly adjoin to this great tandem brotherhood of world film art.

 

36 MANAKI BROTHERS Film Festival  18-27 September, 2015 - Bitola, Republic of Macedonia

 

Festival program:

 - Main Competition - Camera 300 (12 to 14 films from the most recent world production of feature films - selector, the Art Director Blagoja KUNOVSKI, who traditionally bases his selection on the A-category world film festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Carlovy Vary etc.)

- Documentary program, consisting of about 10 long and mid-length documentaries from the latest international production, selected by Gena Teodosievska.

- The New European Film Program is a novelty, offering 7-10 long-feature films (debuts or second films) by young directors and cinematographers that will have their Balkan premieres in Bitola, which means that they will apply directly to our festival. The person in charge of this program is Dejan Trajkoski.

- The competition of 10-12 best international short-feature films, which according to the tradition so far, will be packed together with the selection of a partnering festival such as the one in Clermont Ferrand, and the films will compete for the Small Golden Camera 300.

- Junior Program consisting of children's films of various genres, designed for the youngest audiences and in open collaboration with the Macedonian Giffoni Children and Youth Festival.

- BALKANIKA Program, selection and presentation of films from the neighboring Balkan countries in order to get acquainted with their cinema.

- Macedonian PANORAMA, presentation of the most recent Macedonian film production, long-feature films and documentaries, as well as short feature films.

- 5-member International Jury which generally consists of cinematographers who have previously been laureates at the MANAKI BROTHERS, as well as directors, actors, film critics and other profiles.

- Master classes/meetings/talks with the main laureates of the two Special awards.

- Script Corner for development of scripts by young, promising authors who will develop their scripts under the supervision of professional writers and script-doctors, while the best script will be awarded.

- The activities of IMAGO, the European Federation of Cinematographers that the MANAKI BROTHERS Festival traditionally collaborates which, with emphasis on the Balkan section of IMAGO.

- Photo exhibition: 35 YEARS OF THE MANAKI BROTHERS FESTIVAL (an overview of the past 35 editions through photos of the events, the guests, laureates, film stars, red carpet, audience, the festival atmosphere in the host city of Bitola) and 110 YEARS OF FILM IN MACEDONIA (a retrospective chronology through photographs from the 110 years of history of film on Macedonian soil), based on the immense photographic and cinematographic opus of the Manaki brothers, photos of films between the two world wars, the period of former Yugoslavia and the independent Macedonian cinematography with photos from more recent, internationally acclaimed and awarded films, photos of prominent film authors and other film professionals from different profiles.


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