"Freedom or Die" Began Production
Feature film “Freedom or Die”, written and directed by Vladimir Blazevski started with the production. The shooting of the first scene, in a house near the Vardar River in Skopje, was attended by Minister of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia Ms. Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska and Director of the Macedonian Film Agency, Ms. Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska.
The film, whose budget is about 1.4 million euro, is supported by the Macedonian Film Agency and it’s co-production with Kiselo Dete from Serbia, Ikone Studio from Kosovo and Strup Produkcija of Slovenia. Besides this, the film has support from “Euroimages” and SEE Cinema Network.
The two main protagonists in this comedy are actor Igor Angelov in the role of Cobe, a security guard at the ZOO and the monkey Coco. The lead female role, as aunt of Cobe is played by the doyen of the former Yugoslav Acting, Maria Cohn. In the other roles are Bereda Resit, who plays the character of Ljatif, best friend and colleague of Cobe, Elena Trajkovska in the role of Anna Ilieva, Faik Mefailoski in the role of Ace and renowned Kosovo actor Chun Lajci in the role of Hashim.
Costume designer of the project is Zaklina Krstevka, for the makeup and mask in charge is Mojca Gorogranc Petrushevska, set designer is Milenko Jeremic and director of photography is Dimo Popov. Associates on scenario are Dusan Spasojevic and Catherine Maksimof. The film is produced by Punk film, and for the producer Darko Popov, after the very successful film “Punk's Not Dead”, this is his second collaboration with director Vladimir Blazevski.
The shooting of the film will be on several locations in Macedonia, including ZOO in Bitola and locations near Debar, but the most of the scenes will be filmed in Skopje.
- For me as an author, starting of new film project is of particular importance. I'm excited and confused. Like all my colleagues I believe that any new movie will be the best in the world. It is natural for every ambitious author. Sincerely and passionately I hope that the film will be very good, said Blazevski.
This film he added, it’s not chamber one, showing limited space and places, but is constantly in motion. In terms of actors he is convinced that he made a great choice.
- I'm trying to do something different from the previous film, which was made with the documentary approach, as a street and naturalistic drama with a tough style. The idea for “Freedom or Die” is to be quieter and more aesthetic oriented film, which makes me feeling of unease, because this story is much more demanding. With previous film we managed to make some kind of guerrilla production, working with very small budget and now this is a fairly expensive project, added the director.
The producer Darko Popov, expressed his satisfaction that this time with Blazevski they are filming comedy, instead of drama. Also he pointed that he is happy that the quality of the script, despite by the Macedonian Film Agency, was recognized by regional film centers, but also on the Venice Gap-Financing Market, where from 600 applied projects, “Freedon or Die” was among 6 selected.
- I think that this film would be good comedy, because right now, when we watch rough filmed material, we already laugh. We need to be calm because this film is huge and production process is heavy, but we believe that we’ll finish everything according to our plans, said Popov.
Wishing successful work to the director and his team, Ms. Kanceska Milevska expressed confidence that the film will be completed this year and the next year the audience will have opportunity to see it in cinemas.
- Knowing the enormous reputation of Blazevski, especially after the film "Punk's Not Dead" which was presented at over 40 film events and won over 11 international awards, I am convinced that we will have very good film, said the Minister.
She recalled that the Government invests a lot in Macedonian cinematography and the film industry in general.
- So far, in the period between 2008 and 2015, Macedonia with the budget of 29 million euro supported 225 film projects, feature films, shorts, documentaries and animated films. This year we expect 24 films to be completed, five feature majority productions, four minority productions, four documentaries and 11 short and animated films, said Kanceska Milevska.
The numbers of Macedonian films are increasing each year, and the festival "Manaki Brothers" each year opens and closes with a domestic movie. I believe that this year will be same, said Kanceska Milevska.