23-30 September 2017
IMG 173517th of September, Bitola – ICFF “Manaki Brothers” is pleased to announce that the international jury for the main competition Camera 300, consisting of the president Phedon Papamichael and members Claire Pijman, Vladimir Samoilovski, Alin Tasciyan and Gokhan Tiryaki decided that the laureates of the 37th “Manaki Brothers” International Cinematographers Film Festival are the following:
The cinematographer from Finland, Jani Petteri Passi is this year’s laureate of Golden Camera 300, for the film “The happiest day in the life of Olli Maki”.
It creates “a genuine and lyrical atmosphere that surrounds the audience and captures the spirit of time and the unique experience of its protagonist.” – according to the jury’s explication.
J.P. Passi received the award seemingly taken by surprise, considering that it was the first time that he and his crew had worked on a feature film.
- Are you sure that you’re not going to take it away? At the opening ceremony I saw a performance where a girl was pointing to the audience with a machine gun, an audience where the president of the Republic was sitting. That was very strange, but me getting an award is even stranger. – said Passi.
The winner of the Silver Camera 300 is Ruben Impens from Belgium for the film “Belgica” – “For reflecting the intensity of emotions and allowing us to enter into the world of the characters through its energetic cinematography.”
IMG 1691Ruben Impens received the award with great emotion, thanking his wife who supported him through the difficult moments in his profession.
- I like shooting people on stage, but it’s really hard when I’m on the stage myself. I would like to thank my wife, who is here, for all the support she’s given me, because this is not a regular 9 to 5 job and at moments it can get intense. I would also like to thank the director of “Belgica” who is a good friend, as well as the jury that gave me this award. – said Impens emotionally, adding that Bitola should have an airport, so that traveling to the festival could be quicker.
IMG 1637The Bronze Camera 300 went to Mattias Troelstrup from Denmark, for the film “Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)” - For the precision of its youthful style in harmony with its content that is realistic and dreamlike at the same time.
Troelstrup gave thanks for the opportunity to be part of the festival, as well as to the jury which gave him the award.
- Thank you for inviting me to this beautiful place that I haven’t been to before. I am happy that I was a part of the film crew although I’m not from France. – said Troelstrup.
The winner of the Small Camera 300 award for the short film competition went to cinematographer Luca Coassin from France, for the film “Le Park” – “For its original concept and the successful execution.”
IMG 1555Phedon Papamichael, the president of the jury was also the winner of the Golden Camera 300 award for outstanding contribution to the world film art. Papamichael emotionally thanked the festival for the award, handed to him by Robert Naskov, the president of Macedonian Film Professionals Association, on behalf of the festival.
- You can tell by my name that I am from the Balkans and that means that we share a common history. Our unique opportunity as cinematographers and artists is that we can transcend boundaries through visual storytelling, in the same way we can beat all the obstacles that come in our way. – said Papamichail and thanked his collaborators, the jury and the director of the festival for inviting him to Bitola.
IMG 4808Gorjan Tozija gave the “Big Star” Award for Exceptional Results in Macedonian Cinematography, in the name of the Macedonian Film Professionals Association, to the film producer Simon Perry.
- Simon Perry is the man without whom the Macedonian cinematography wouldn’t have been what it is and wouldn’t have its biggest success with the film “Before the Rain”. He recognized Milco Mancevski and the potential of the film and stood firmly and confidently behind the project. Simon Perry is a man who helped a lot of young and unknown directors to make their dream come true. In those turbulent years for Macedonia, he fought as a producer and as a man who feels Macedonia as his own country. – said Tozija.
Simon Perry said that thanks to Milco Mancevski he developed an interest for the cinematography of this part of the world. He said he feels like home in here.
- Thank you, I am truly honored. Unlike Phedon, I cannot claim I’m from the Balkans, but I remember that after a press-conference someone told me “I think that you are from Macedonia, you have huge feet!” I’ve produced and co-produced films in a lot of countries, but thanks to Milco Mancevski I started to become more and more interested in the films created in this part of the world, an interest that with time became all the more intensive. Whenever I come here I feel like home and I also feel truly honored to receive an award from the people from this part of Europe. – said Perry.
IMG 5046After the award ceremony, before the screening of the film “Golden Five”, the director of the festival, Blagoja Kunovski – Dore, closed the 37th edition of the festival, expressing his satisfaction of the program and the opportunity for so many distinguished cinematographers to be a part of the festival.
- Ladies and gentlemen, thank you. Everyone would wish for such a closing ceremony, when you have three laureates in the jury, when none of the bigger festivals seem to have them, and we had the pleasure to close the 37th edition of the festival in this way. Most of all I thank you for your honest commitment to the film art. Festivals are made for the audience. You are that audience which had the privilege to see the emotions of the award winners, spontaneously, like ordinary people, proud to be a part of this festival – said Kunovski, in an address to the audience.
Regarding the reactions of the cancelation of the performance at the closing of the festival, Kunovski said that some people don’t deserve the chance that has been given to them to be a part of the festival and to abuse it.
He expressed special pleasure from the audience turnout at the festival screenings.
- We are very grateful that every day, especially during the evening screenings, people that are honest film enthusiasts came to see the films. Bitola has such tradition, a tradition to which we’ll stay faithful in the next editions of the festival. Trust me, it is a great achievement to organize this kind of festival in three months, with this kind of program and jury, with laureates from the caliber of John Seale, Phedon Papamichail and Simon Perry, as well as the IMAGO assembly which was a part of the festival. In these eight days around ninety world cinematographers walked the streets of Bitola – said Kunovski, thus closing the festival and thanking all the collaborators.
After the award ceremony, there was a screening of the film “Golden Five”, by Goran Trencevski. After the screening the crew from the film bowed before the audience in Bitola.