Berlin Film Festival: European doors open to Macedonian films, co-productions and relevant themes are priority to European funding bodies

The Minister of culture, Mr. Asaf Ademi and Macedonian Film Agency director, Mr. Gorjan Tozija met with heads of Creative Europe MEDIA Desk Harald Trattenbrein and Lucia Ricaldo and discussed the possibility and criteria for Macedonian projects receiving bigger support by MEDIA programs. The meeting took place within the activities for promotion of Macedonian cinematography at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

“With the success of “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija” by Teona Strugar Mitevska which premieres tomorrow in official competition at Berlin International Film Festival, following the outstanding success of “Honeyland” At Sundance Film Festival, Macedonian cinematography reaches far beyond its borders which hopefully leads to many other possibilities for Macedonian authors and bigger support by European film funds” – says Macedonian Film Agency director, Gorjan Tozija.

The Minister of culture is pleased with the success of Macedonian cinema, but is aware of the issues that film professionals and the Agency face regarding their limited budgets.

“We are a small country with many economic difficulties that unfortunately gives priority to other areas of societal development. Our budget for film and culture in general is very limited but with the support of European funds we could achieve bigger results. We are proud of our success this year thanks to our creative authors and the efforts of the Film Agency”- states Ademi.

According to Trettenbrein, Macedonia statistically have a larger number of applications when compared to other regional countries and hopes that there will be increased support in the future but filmmakers must focus on actual and relevant themes and of course to have quality projects.

“Cinematographies coming from small countries must focus on acquiring co-productions which will help them getting support by European funds. It is especially important to focus on relevant and interesting subjects, to preserve the authenticity of the cinematography and the quality.”

The meeting took place before tomorrow’s world premiere of the film “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija”, a project supported by Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

Ademi: The complete documentation of the Commission’s decisions shall be publicly reviewed

Irrespective of the credibility of the institution or individual that have applied for the support by the Ministry of culture, if the submitted documentation is incomplete, the Commission’s decision will be negative, states Ademi, commenting on the scandalous reactions to the announced results at the Minsitry’s call for support. The minister argues that the Commissions’ decisions are justifiable, but anyone who submits a claim shall be given the chance to review the submitted documentation transparently and publicly.

“The persons who comment on the decisions for the supported projects and consider them unfair shall be given a chance to have their applications reviewed again. We are not favoring anyone, the decisions are made by meeting evaluation criteria”, says Ademi.

With regards to renowned festivals that haven’t received support such as Jazz Festival and Off Fest, Ademi claims they haven’t meet the required administrative criteria.

„These festivals have been organized traditionally over the years, and I myself have visited them many times, but that does not mean that administrative criteria do not apply to them as for others. I firmly advocate for culture for everyone which means everyone to be given equal chance to apply and receive support in accordance with evaluation criteria”, says Ademi.

Ademi is currently in Berlin where he’s had a meeting today with Harald Trattenbrein and Lucia Ricaldo by Creative Europe MEDIA desk and is expected to attend the world premiere of Macedonian film “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija” by Teona Strugar Mitevska, to be screened tomorrow within the competition programme of Berlin International Film Festival