At a press conference on the occasion of the 9th edition of the French Film Festival, attended by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia, Mrs. Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska, the Ambassador of France in Macedonia Mrs.Laurence Auer and the Macedonian Film Agency Director, Mrs. Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska.
The festival which will take place in both Skopje and Ohrid, in organization of the French Embassy and the French Institute, with the support of the Macedonian Film Agency, will open tomorrow evening (June 15) at Cinema Millennium with a screening of “Road to Istanbul” by Algerian director Rachid Bouchareb. The festival program in Skopje includes five more films (“Fear” and “Tomorrow” on June 16, “Fatima” and “Summer” on June 17 and “Ni le ciel ni la terre” on June 18) and three films in Ohrid that will be screened at the Cultural Center “Grigor Prlicev” ( “Caprice” on June 16, “Three hearts” on June 17 and the movie “Judge” on June 18). Festival guests are actress Astrid Whetnall and director Christian Vincent (from the opening and closing films, respectively), and representatives of the French National Film Centre (CNC) – Julien Esano – Advisor on bilateral cooperation of CNC, and Audrey Billard director of the short film festival “Off-Courts”. On Thursday at 11.00 a.m. at the Macedonian Film Agency they will meet with film professionals from Macedonia.
French Ambassador to Macedonia Laurence Auer said that the motto of this year’s festival is “different cinema” because it wishes to demonstrate innovation and commitment. In this direction is the film “Road to Istanbul” which depicts a current topic – the decision of a young girl to go to war in Syria, as well as the environmental documentary entitled “Tomorrow”, which until now had over a million viewers.
– In the four festival days in Skopje and Ohrid we will have the opportunity to see the prestigious French films that have received numerous awards, among others the award “Caesar,” while the film “Judge,” for example, was awarded in Venice. What makes the festival program complete are not just movies, but also professional meetings, allowing filmmakers from Macedonia to make contact, exchange experiences and realize new co-productions with France, said Auer.
The Macedonian Minister of Culture, Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, said that this festival is greatly anticipated by the Macedonian audience due to the long tradition of French cinema and the French film aesthetics. She also pointed to the collaboration with France in the realization of two multilateral coproductions (“Mothers” by M. Manchevski and “Lazar” by S. Ristovski).
She reminded that the famous production “Chic Films’ last year in Macedonia shot the French film” A Font’ by director Nicolas Benamu and that other film companies from France and the UK have also expressed interest in shooting on locations across the country.
– I am convinced that the cooperation between France and Macedonia in the future will be strengthened and intensified, and that French Film Festival will be a great opportunity for our producers, writers and directors to exchange contacts and realize joint initiatives and projects, said the Minister.
The Macedonian Film Agency Director, Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska, emphasized the importance of the meeting between the Macedonian film professionals and the representatives of the French Film Centre CNC and the arrival of her colleague Julien Esano. The meeting is an opportunity to exchange information that would result in new co-production projects.
– It is a pleasure that we will have them as guests in the Macedonian Film Agency. I hope that this traditional cooperation in the area of film in the near future will result with a bilateral agreement between the two countries on cooperation in the film industry, said Gjorgoska-Ilievska.