World Premiere of “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija” Blows Away Critics and Audience in Berlin, A Historical Interest for Macedonian Cinema

Days following the premiere of the film “God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunija”, directed by Teona Strugar Mitevska, the film still captures the attention of critics and ranks high among favorites for the three main awards.

The great screenplay, intriguing subject and outstanding performance of the leading role, played by Zorica Nusheva, caught the attention of the public at its very first press screening, on Feb 10. The film’s crew was greeted with a round of applause and reporters and critics asked many questions. This euphoria transferred to the grand hall of Berlinale Palast, where the official premiere took place later that day. The film’s cast and crew were warmly greeted with a standing ovation following the screening and their performance was highly praised by the audience and the German Minister of culture, who attended the screening.

The initial delight of a Macedonian entry in official competition at Berlin Film Festival, which is a first for the Macedonian cinematography, was also present at the party organized by the Production Company and the Macedonian Film Agency, where supporters of Macedonian cinema got to enjoy the music of Macedonian band “Foltin”. Many smiles and positive comments for the film came from many important European producers, directors and actors.

This participation in Berlin completely remodeled the impression of Macedonian cinema and brought positive vibrations and greater openness of European funds to our cinematography. The Agency’s intensive efforts to place Macedonian cinema on the same level as European and world cinematography were finally brought to fruition.

Macedonian Minister, Mr. Asaf Ademi and Macedonian Film Agency director, Mr. Gorjan Tozija had a meeting with Mr. Harald Trettenbrein and Ms Lucia Ricaldo, Heads of Creative Europe MEDIA Desk, to discuss the criteria and possibility of Macedonian projects to receive greater supports by MEDIA programmes. According to Trettenbrein, Macedonia statistically have a larger number of applications when compared to other regional countries and he 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.

As a further confirmation of the increased interest in Macedonian cinema was also the meetings held with the Heads of the European Film Market and Eurimages, which took place at Martin Gropius Bau.

Macedonian actor Blagoj Veselinov, the star of “The Secret Ingredient” by Gjorce Stavreski was awarded as one of ten most successful European actors in the “Shooting Stars” programme and young actress Sara Klimoska was a part of this year’s Berlinale talents.

The great number of promotional material such as city lights, advertisements in Screen International, Hollywood Reporter and Variety magazines have proven as effective and Macedonian cinema have been represented appropriately.