Stolevski’s ‘Housekeeping for Beginners’ opens Manaki Brothers Film Festival in Bitola

Macedonian film ‘Housekeeping for Beginners’ directed by Goran Stolevski opened Saturday the 44th edition of the Manaki Brothers International Cinematographers’ Film Festival.

The festival that takes place September 23-29 in Bitola under the motto ‘The Beautiful Unknown” is expected to be attended by over 400 guests.

Naum Doksevski is the cinematographer, while Marija Dimitrova (List Production) is producer of the film ‘Housekeeping for Beginners.’ In the leading roles are the Romanian actors Anamaria Marinca (famous from Cristian Mungiu’s film ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’) and Alina Serban from Romania, Samson Selim, Mia Mustafi, Džada Selim from North Macedonia and Vladimir Tintor from Croatia. In the supporting roles are Sara Klimoska and Ajše Useini from North Macedonia, and Rozafa Celaj from Kosovo.

The festival showcases more than 70 films as part of several competition programs. The main programme includes 12 films, which tell existential human stories against the dominance of technology today.

The cinematographer of ‘Mississippi Burning’, ‘The Truman Show’, ‘In the Name of the Father’, ‘Damage’, ‘Pink Floyd – The Wall’, ‘Life of Brian’, ‘Time Bandits’, ‘9½ Weeks’, ‘Richard III’, and many other notable films, the Oscar winner Peter Biziou, is this year’s laureate of the Golden Camera 300 for Life Achievement.

Macedonian actress and producer Labina Mitevska is this year’s winner of ‘Great Star of Macedonian Cinema’ award given annually by the Macedonian Film Professionals Association.

Award-winning cinematographer Seamus McGarvey is the winner of the Special Golden Camera 300 for Outstanding Contribution to World Cinematic Art at the 44th edition of the festival.

“This year we have between 350 and 400 guests, including about 160 foreign guests – which is a huge number – and 50 VIPs; we have 79 films in the cinemas and open-air screenings,” Festival Director, Simeon Moni Damevski said.

The director further informed us that there are Macedonian films for the Opening and Closing Festival Ceremonies, and he also presented the rest of the festival program, starting with the short film selection, documentaries, student films, as well as the films that the audience will be able to watch outdoors, from their vehicles, in the drive-in cinema.

“During the Festival we will host a round table with six exceptional women cinematographers who will talk about the challenges in their line of work; the Balkan Conference of Cinematographers which will result in a Manifesto; all the cinemas will sign a Memorandum to expand the cinema network in Macedonia and to bring the audiences back to the cinemas. Then we have the “Manaki Heirs” Project, introducing the world of cinema to young children, where they make films and dip their toes in this form of art. This year, the Embassies of Germany, France and Italy also organize evenings of their respective cultures, paired with the films that will be shown at the festival and the authors (their nationals) who will be our guests,” Damevski said.