Manaki celebration of Cinematography

There was no better way to close this special edition of the 40th anniversary of the festival by screening the film «Manaki – Story in Pictures». The biographical documentary about the two Balkan photographers directed by Robert Jankulosk was the right choice to end this magnificent edition. By honoring such photographers and film pioneers was the same as honouring all photographers and cameramen/women of the world. It was a celebration of photography and cinematography.


We all know, that the Festival is named after the two brothers who have beautifully captured with their photographs Bitola and its region at the end of the XIX century and beginning of the XX century.

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Photograph of Manaki Brothers in their studio in
Bitola begining of XX century 


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Igor Ivanov President of MFPA

The director in his speech mentioned working for 6 years on the project mostly in researching. The discovery was a reveal of wonderful pictures that take us back to the time and the images never seen before of the city of Bitola. The perseverance of the two brothers has left a rich legacy to the city of Bitola. In a certain way the Manaki brothers have indeed honoured immensely the work of photographers and cinematographers.


The biographical documentary centres almost exclusively on their work as photographers and not as camera men. Their film camera - CAMERA 300 - is rather a protagonist in some photographs.  

«Tell the Clouds» was the claim phrase of this year’s edition of the festival. We don’t know but perhaps this claim has a direct link to the documentary about the Manaki Brothers. There is a moment in the film that one of the brother’s questions if they will leave anything for future generations once they leave. So now we can tell them through the clouds to both brothers that they indeed left a fantastic legacy. Not only for their beautiful photographs offering eternity to their city but also to inspire such an enduring festival that puts the region and the country on the world map.

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The IMAGO Award displayed proudly next to 
Camera 300.

The Festival has been there for four decades celebrating cinematographers and cinematography. It was with a great deal of courage to implement such choice. Cinematographers do not make front pages in magazines and they are not known by the public in general. Gena Teodosievska Festival director writes in her editorial «40 years ago, several audacious and bold film professionals and intellectual founded this festival in Bitola, the town where the modest and determined brothers Milton and Janaki Manaki had accepted the new technologies in photography. The film camera was the small-big wonder that would rapidly change its look, shape and design in the years to come. The Manaki Brothers anticipating the future by including this modern form of expression through their camera 300, in fact created history and a precious document about the life in Bitola and its vicinity at the beginning of the tumultuous 20th century, the century that brought humanity its darkest times, but also its brightness processes and inventions»

The Manaki festival is indirectly their legacy. Igor Ivanov President of MFPA organization behind the festival wrote in the editorial of the festival «Forty years later, the international Film Festival Manaki Brothers remains the top priority of the MFPA. Next year we celebrate the seventieth anniversary of this association of ours. These major jubilees not only emphasize the extent of responsibility we bear towards our colleagues from past generations who build our cinema with such commitment, but also pose a challenge and incentive to keep moving towards the new generation of film authors who are on the horizon and who promise brighter future for our cinema».

In recognition to this perseverance IMAGO presented in its last Awards edition the special Contribution to Cinematography Award that they displayed with great pride in the entrance hall of the main theatre.
Imago is also very proud to part of this family of devoted people that recognise cinematographers and cinematography.

The Golden Camera 300 laureate for Lifetime Achievement was Ed Lachman ASC and Yorgos Arvanitis GSC actual president of our society member GSC.


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The winners and closing ceremony:

The Golden Camera 300 for cinematographer Helene Louvart for the film «The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao».
The Silver Camera 300 was given to cinematographer Jinsong Dong for the film «The Wild Goose Lake»
The Bronze Camera 300 for cinematographer Daniele Cipri of the film «Piranhas»
The Small Camera 300 was received by the cinematographer Constanza Sandoval from Argentina, for the film «Monster God»

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During the Board Meeting lunch break we were invited by our former president Nigel Walters BSC who is become a real expert in Bitola. Nigel was the founder during his presidency «The Balkan Conference Meeting» where all societies of the region have a seat, only Turkey missed this time, since then Nigel has not missed one edition of the festival. 

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So by now Nigel knows well the city and its secrets and those who didn’t come to visit Ohrid could go a fish catch.

So we all followed him into the old town where a graceful bazaar is open in the tiny streets not far from the Epinel hotel where we all stayed. The fishing catch was to get fish and take it to a restaurant where would be cooked for lunch. So we did and it was a great catch.

AIMG 0479 AIMG 0480 Ron Johanson ACS OBE taking a pick through the glass while Nigel Walters BSC and Louis Philippe Capelle SBC are waiting for the fish to be arranged and prepared for lunch.
AIMG 0466 AIMG 0473  North Macedonian flags in a Tourist shop. North Macedonia is campaigning in favour to enter the European Union. Tony Costa aip having his tourist picture taken while waiting outside the shop for the fishermen
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AIMG 0506 In the long corridor of the Epinal Hotel we could appreciate the history in photographs of 40 editions of the festival. We recognize many of our colleagues who at least have been part of the festival or either invited special guests or given with the Camera 300 award. Amongst many other we could pick Luciano Tovoli AIC who was also homage in one occasion like Billy Williams in 2009 given the Life Time Achievement Award. In the photograph he is looking through the eypiece of the original Camera 300 used by the two famous Manaki Brothers.
 AIMG 0539  The past and present.
Johan Hellsten creator of the easyrig poses next to the manaki brother statue.


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