As always in September, the wonderful Manaki Film Festival was arranged in Bitola, Macedonia. The oldest film festival focusing specially on the art of cinematography, it was again a great success, providing a great program of very good films, high profile guests, and a warm atmosphere. With almost no money, the festival´s organizers, festival director Gena Teodosievska and artistic director Blagoja Kunovsky, produce a high quality festival that every visitor feels warmly welcomed and included in.
Participants at the Balkan Cinematographer´s Conference 2018. Front row from right to left: Gena Teodosievska (Manaki Film Festival Director), James Ellis Deakins, Roger Deakins CBE, ASC BSC, Nigel Walters BSC and Milos Spasojevic SAS.
This year Roger Deakins CBE BSC ASC received the Golden Camera 300 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Roger and his “right and left arm”, creative partner James Ellis Deakins, participated in master classes and student arrangements all filled to the brim of enthusiastic participants. The festival is growing very positively, the many films screened had an overall highest quality standard, and this year´s festival had a record participation. We already look forward to next year, where the festival´s 40th anniversary will be arranged.
The Balkan Cinematographer´s Conference
For many years, Nigel Walters BSC Vice President and previous IMAGO president, has been arranging the Balkan Cinematographer´s Conference during the Manaki Festival. With participants this year from all Balkan Cinematographers Societies, topics from authorship and working conditions to challenges of restoration and archiving of the region´s film heritage were discussed. As Cinematographer´s Societies in the region are relatively small compared to many larger Countries, it was decided to form a Balkan section of IMAGO, where Balkan Societies operates under an umbrella within IMAGO. The idea is that closer collaboration between Balkan Societies will create more effectivity, and a stronger voice in all situations, both political, artistic, and also within IMAGO. Furthermore, due to the very positive development of the creative debates during the Balkan Conference, it was decided a need to develop a second annual Balkan Cinematographer´s Conference. The Conference in Macedonia during the Manaki Festival will continue, but in addition there will be an annual “travelling Balkan conference”, the first one will be arranged in Ljubljana in November 2018 with the support of IMAGO.