The 21st International Film Camera Festival “Manaki Brothers”, 27th of September – 01st of October 2000, Bitola
Another edition of the International Film Camera Festival „Manaki Brothers” in Bitola – passed by. And if nothing else, this time, the Selector of the Festival can praise with the solid(?) number of features (16) – from which, fortunately for the film-lovers, numerously were of high cineastic quality, at least in the part of the international programme.
But, lets start from the beginning… As first, we must mention that this year was the celebration of the 120th Anniversary of the Milton Manaki’s birth, one of the brothers-pioneers of the Cinema at the Balkans. And, on the other hand, we had IN MEMORIAM on the death of Branko Mihajlovski, one of the oldest Macedonian professional cameramen. The, as the other supplemental manifestations and events at the Festival, we must mention the Promotion of the Jerzy Menzel’s book, the presence of Freddie Francis, the Winner of the „Golden Camera 300” for Life Achievement, the retrospective on Branko Gapo, one (or two?) press-conferences, the promotion of the CD-ROM “The Cinema Century in Macedonia” and the 1st part of the book “History of the Film” by Georgi Vasilevski, published by the Cinematheque of Macedonia both. Those, as well as the few features out of competition – among which was the World Premiere of the film “Revenge”, in a Belgian-Macedonian co-production.
For the first time at this Festival, the Awards for Camera and Directing in National Competition for Short Features were established: unfortunately, with the very poor selection, and with no classification by the genre.
This year jury was: Jaromir Shofr (Czech Republic), Jacek Petrycki (Poland), John Christian Rozenlund (Norway), Vatroslav Mimica (Croatia) and Ivo Trajkov (Macedonia), which – like under some strange tradition, gave the Awards to the films that don’t deserve it. But – what’s done, it’s done… Although in International Competition, there were several really excellent films.
Above all, there was the Lars Von Trier’s film “Dancer in the dark”, which is this year Golden Palm Award Winner at the Kann Film Festival, with Robby Miller as D.O.P, and Bjork in the leading role. It’s a film that kept the audience under full two-hour suspence, telling the story that vibrates between the Dogme-poetics and the poetics of the musical films, as between the good and evil, love and horror.
From any point of view, this was, undoubtedly, the best film at the Festival, in general.
By the quality, next films follow: the Spanish film “Alone” by Benito Zambrano and the Swedish “Under the Sun” by Colin Nutley, films which are speaking of the love, lonelines and struggle for the happines.
The American film “Julien Donkey-boy” by Harmony Korine is worth of mentioning, on one hand because it’s the first American Dogme-feature film, and on other hand because it’s rarely succesfull in transponing the clinic-shyzophrenie with the camera and frame&scene-editing…
The third long-length feature of Tom Tykwer “Run, Lola, Run” brought real refreshment at the Festival with its furious, rapid and music-spot-like approach to the film narative, a film that makes your heart beat faster.
The Czech film “Return of the Idiot” by Sasha Gedeon (Student Jury Award for the D.O.P. Stepan Kutchera) was just another proof that the Czech film still has something to say, even there is (just another) adaptation of Dostoevski.
From what was worth in the International Competition, I must mention the Croatian film “Marshal” by Vinko Breshan (The Audience Award), which film, I think, got the bigest applause in the Festival Cinema Theater…
Of course, none of them got the right Award.
“The honnor” to take the Golden Camera 300 Award was given to the German D.O.P. Andreas Hofer for the film “Rita’s legends” by Volker Schlondorff…
And – that’s it from the author of this text.
Translated by: Petar Volnarovski