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Focus on Macedonia
Macedonian cinema, as such, starts with the break-up of Yugoslavia, of which it was a part, and with establishing the independent Republic of Macedonia in 1991. However, Macedonian filmmakers have been on the map of cinema history from its very beginning when the country belonged to the Ottoman Empire and film pioneers, the Manaki brothers, made a ground-breaking documentary film as early as 1905 – the very first film of the Balkans. In 1974, the dean of Macedonian film, Stole Popov, made his documentary debut which became Yugoslavia's Oscar submission. The first film of the independent country is symptomatically Popov's feature drama, Tattoo, set in the turbulent political chaos of the regime's disintegration in the former Yugoslavia, which creates the backdrop for the breakup of a marriage. When the husband leaves with an empty suitcase, it triggers the absurd machinery of his arrest. The internationally acclaimed film is one of three of Popov's films included in the section, together with Gypsy Magic (1997) and his latest feature, To the Hilt, which maps Macedonia's touching history through a love quadrangle. Ivo Trajkov also views politics and history shattering personal stories as pivotal. Great Water is a historical drama returning to the childhood of a fictional politician after the country's breakup. He spent those years in a communist educational camp as a war orphan, and the grandeur of history and ideologies contrasts with the child's view. The protagonist of Trajkov's latest film, Honey Nights, which will premiere at the festival and was Macedonia's submission for this year's Academy Awards, is also a politician during the tumultuous era of the 1990s transformation. However, the film is set as an intimate drama of a marriage, taking place during a single night and inspired by Jan Prochazka's The Ear. Ivo Trajkov is also the Head of FAMU Editing Department and the director of the experimental The Movie and the successful The Canary Connection. The third film selected out of the director's works across genres and topics is 90 Minutes – The Berlin Project, a play with the genre techniques of a gangster film and the basis of film reality, taking place in real time during the protagonist's quest for revenge through the labyrinth of Berlin. The picture of current Macedonian cinema is completed by Svetoza Ristovski's Lazar about a smuggler of immigrants, and Darjian Pejovski's drama of revenge called Three Days in September.
Gipsy magic / Gipsy magic / Romská kouzla (Macedonia) Director: Stole Popov (Focus on Macedonia )
Great Water / Golemata voda / Velká voda (Czech Republic, Macedonia, Germany, USA) Director: Ivo Trajkov (Focus on Macedonia )
Honey Night / Honey Night / Noc bezMoci (Macedonia, Czech Republic, Slovenia) Director: Ivo Trajkov (Focus on Macedonia )
Lazar / Lazar / Lazar (Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, France) Director: Svetozar Ristovski (Focus on Macedonia )
Tattoo / Tetoviranie / Tetování (Yugoslavia, Macedonia) Director: Stole Popov (Focus on Macedonia )
To the Hilt / Do balcak / Až po jílec (Macedonia) Director: Stole Popov (Focus on Macedonia )
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