Macedonia with “When the day had no name” at the Berlin Film Festival
The new Macedonian film “When the day had no name” by Teona Strugar Mitevska, will have its premiere at the prestigious film festival in Berlin. On that occasion, the producer of the film, Ms. Labina Mitevska and the Director of the Macedonian Film Agency, Ms. Mimi Gjorgoska Ilevska on 25th January held a press conference in which they presented the details about the participation of the film on this important festival.
Producer Labina Mitevska noted that it’s always great joy to be part of one of the largest film festivals in the world.
Every author wants his film to be part of the Berlin Film Festival, but this is becoming more difficult with increasing competition of the thousands and thousands of movies that are applying for participation. To be part of Cannes, Berlin or Venice, you really need to have a good film and the participation on some of these three festivals is the highest recognition. I think that “When the day had no name” is the most mature film by Teona. With each of her films, she surprises me with unique author's approach and I expect this film to achieve the greatest success so far.
As a producer I'm proud that Macedonia will have a movie in Berlin and I'm proud that our cinema slowly but surely takes its place in the world cinema. After “Sierra Nevada” in the competition section at Cannes and “Night Life” which was laureate in Karlovy Vary, both minority co-productions, in Berlin we’ll share our film, which for us is like icing on the best cake in the world!
The last two years were really exciting for our small company. We achieved huge success, we were present at major film festivals and we want to mention that we are grateful for the support that we have from the Macedonian Film Agency. We have always believed that film is art, we have always fought for that and the work with a real, uncompromising authors and the successes that we bring together, are proving that this is only and right way to go forward.
The director of the Macedonian Film Agency, Ms. Mimi Gjorgoska Ilievska noted that: The participation of “When the day had no name” by Teona Strugar Mitevska at the Berlin Film Festival in the Panorama program, is extremely important for the Macedonian cinematography and represents a significant success for the production company “Sisters and brother Mitevski”. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure once again to congratulate to this production company and to Labina Mitevska, which in 2016 participated at the Cannes Film Festival with the minority co-production, the Romanian film “Sierra Nevada” by Cristi Puiu, for beginning of this 2017 with great success. The selection at the program of the Berlin Festival confirms the quality of the film and it is a great opportunity for the film to be seen by relevant film audience as well as from numerous film fans in Berlin.
The film “When the day had no name” by Teona Strugar Mitevska is Macedonian majority project, which was realized in production of “Sisters and brother Mitevski”, with co-producers “Vertigo” from Slovenia and “Entre Chien et Loup” from Belgium. The support from the Macedonian Film Agency is nearly 500.000 Euro and the film was also financed by the Eurimages.
I take this opportunity to point out that apart from the film of “Sisters and brother Mitevski”, at the Berlin Film Festival will be shown the minority co-production “Requiem for Mrs. J”, directed by Bojan Vuletic, where co-producer from the Macedonian side is “Skopje Film Studio”.
The efforts of the Macedonian Film Agency are to encourage and support the producers for cooperation with their colleagues from Europe and to provide a regular and continuous support of the majority and minority co-production projects. Macedonia is one of the first countries in the region which opened its doors for the implementation of international film co-productions. That enabled to our producers to go in deeper professional collaborations with colleagues from other countries and simultaneously through co-productions to provide additional funding for the Macedonian majority film projects.
In this way, in past 2016 year, for the first time since the signing of the bilateral agreement for cooperation in the film industry between Macedonia and Italy, was announced jointly call for development of Macedonian-Italian projects and already 4 projects were supported.
Macedonian Film Agency and Macedonian filmmakers are constantly present at all important film events. This year we started with the festival in Trieste, and what comes next is a partnership with the Rotterdam Film Lab, where as participants we’ll have two producers from Macedonia.
During 2017 Macedonian project “Still Life” by Vladimir Mitrevski, produced by “Dream Factory”, is selected for participation at the prestigious workshop EAVE and in terms of the education of film professionals this year, Macedonia and Macedonian Film Agency will host two major European film workshops, Midpoint, which will be held in June in Ohrid and MAIA, which will be held during the Manaki Brothers Film Festival in September in Bitola.
Finally I would like once again to congratulate to “Sisters and brother Mitevski” for the selection in Berlin, to wish them successful premiere at the festival, which I hope will be only a first step in further distribution and festival success of the film “When the day had no name”.
“When the day had no name” will be presented in the program Panorama Special. The premiere is scheduled for 14th January in 19.00h. in the ZOO Palace cinema. Zoo Palace is a cinema with 781 seats and in previous years, it was the main hall of the Berlin Film Festival. Now it’s cinema where are screened all premieres from the Panorama selection. The film will be shown 7 times during the Berlin Film Festival, two screenings will be closed market screenings for film professionals and five other screenings will be for the cinema audience where the film crew after each screening will have Q&A session with the audience.
At Berlin Film Festival, beside the director Teona Strugar Mitevska, the producer Labina Mitevska and screenwriter Elma Tataragic, also will be present six young lead actors from the film: Leon Ristov, Hanis Bagashov, Stefan Kitanovic, Igorco Postolov, Dragan Misevski, Ivan Vrtev Shoptrajanov. These young people are the pride of “When the day had no name”, six young nonprofessional actors who went through heavy casting which lasted more than three months, with over 400 young people applied for these six roles, after this followed with intense period of preparation and six months of filming. They are all first time on film and brings tremendous energy that literally overflows from the screen.
In the other roles are actresses Ratka Radmanovic, Nikolina Kujaca, Ana Kosotovska and Labina Mitevska, and also with first appearance on film Petrunija Kiselicki and Ines Hodic.
”When the day had no name” was shot by French cinematographer Agnes Godard, art director is Vuk Mitevski and costume designer is Monika Lorber.
One of the most acclaimed publicists Richard Lormand will be press agent of the film and already he has two weeks working intensively on the preparation of the media presentation of the film in Berlin. “When the Day No Name” will be represented bu the sales agent Sebastien Chesneau and his company CERCAMON.
The film tells the story of six teenagers. Milan and his best friend Petar are preparing adventurous excursion with their friends somewhere on the outskirts of Skopje. They are excited because of the impending night of drinking and hopping, before early morning fishing expedition. They are typical teenagers, full of sexual and romantic tension and excitement, anxious and burdened with money and material things. Sometimes devilish, sometimes angelic; hungry to be adults, and yet with childish behavior. In dysfunctional relationships with their parents, families disrupted transition troubles, they are emerging generation torn by social insecurity and suspicious values. Their night of crazy party is marked by an unfortunate visit of a teenage prostitute and completely inverted with sudden conflict ...
”When the day had no name” is the fourth feature film by Teona Strugar Mitevska. Her debut “How I Killed a Saint” was premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival and was supported by the Hubert Balls Foundation. “I am from Titov Veles” was presented at the Berlin Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival, traveled to 98 other festivals and was sold in 14 countries including America. The received 15 awards and is one of the most successful Macedonian films. “The woman who brushed her tears”, was also premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and traveled to over60 film festivals worldwide.
“When the day had no name” is the third participation of Teona at the Berlin Film Festival with a feature film. Teona as the author was revealed just in Berlin with her short film “Veta” in 2002, for which she won a special prize and we can say that she is an author who is growing with the Berlin Festival.