Manaki Brothers

Scenographer Igor Toshevski (Igor Toshevski) is the creator of the concept design of last year’s and this year’s edition of ICFF Manaki Brothers in Bitola. Following his professional and artistic passion for aesthetic interior and exterior design, this year Toshevski gives a specific visual stamp to the cinematographers’ festival in Bitola.

„This year we put up festival banners on candelabras around town and we continued last year’s practice of organizing an exhibition and installation in the foyer of the Bitola Cultural Centre, where the main programme takes place. Last year, in cooperation with the Bitola Archive, we put up a nice exhibition, Toshevski recollects.

His first challenge when working on conceptual design is media installations.

„I like artistic interventions in space because we are talking about public spaces which are always challenging. This year an interesting conceptual undertaking was the 3D projection on the façade of Hotel Epinal, where I selected the materials.

This complemented nicely the opening ceremony and the jazzy atmosphere in the tent in front of the Cultural Centre. With theatre director Dejan Projkovski we developed the concept to screen films from the projector in Milton Manaki’s sculpture in front of the Cultural Centre. On the other hand, the foyer is not very amenable to conceptual interventions, which makes it a challenge: that is the transitional section from the exterior to the movie theatre and serves as interior public space. This year I decided this space to be filled with transparent banners of the films, made as unrealistic situation, and the audience members can take photos between them and be part of the installation, Toshevski explained.

Is Toshevski satisfied with the reactions to this year’s visual design of ICFF Manaki Brothers in Bitola? Our interlocutor says that he has very strict criteria about his work.

„Having in mind the circumstances – even though this should not be an excuse – it can and should be better. My personal remarks are regarding long-term solutions for the festival. This requires better cooperation with the Municipality of Bitola and the Cultural Centre: my intention is to propose a somewhat different approach for the festival in the future, if they are willing. It would be good for everyone to set up standards and then upgrade them“, Toshevski commented.

This year outdoor activities are “suffering” because of unpredictable weather as “force majeure” which makes planned activities impossible.

„That is why I’m saying that certain technical aspects should be improved. It might sound banal, but it is important how the jumbo banner is attached to the Cultural Centre’s façade, so that it is not blown away by wind“, Toshevski said.

At the end of our conversation he underlined the commitment by the small team of the Cultural Centre and his colleagues in the festival team.

„I really appreciate their efforts and commitment“, Toshevski stressed.

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