Balkan cinema cities

BCC goes to Sofia International Film Festival

The 22nd Sofia International Film Festival will happen from 8-17-29 March 2018 in Sofia. In the frame of the festival is organized the coproduction market Sofia Meetings which brings more than 300 foreign professionals to the festival including strong number of distributors, members of Europa Distribution, and exhibitors, members of Europa Cinemas. Sofia Meetings is one of the leading coproduction events in Europe and especially the region. BCC representatives will attend the 22nd Sofia International Film Festival and Sofia Meetings.


“Gottlieb” ready for festival premiere

“Gottlieb” , animated short film supported by BCC in 2017, is the first film filmed in 4K with 7.1 surround. The film finished with postproduction and is ready to hit the festivals for international premiere. The film was sent to Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival.
“Gottlieb” was produced by Unzegija, in coproduction with Flip Book (Macedonia), Ars Digital (Bulgaria) and Pro Reel (Lebanon). It was supported by Macedonian Film Agency and BCC Film Fund.


BCC Film Fund at Berlinale

The Regional Film Fund - Balkan Cities of Cinema (BCC) will be at the Berlinale Film Festival from 15th till 23rd February 2018. BCC delegation at the Berlinale co-production market held meetings with representatives from EUROMED and EUROEAST countries and EU countries to promote more cross-border projects. BCC delegation at the Berlinale co-production market will also get the opportunity to participate in networking session, as well as the coproduction sessions for producers looking to coproduce with Macedonia, Albania and Bulgaria.


BCC on Production Forum in Borovets

The Regional Film Fund - Balkan Cities of Cinema (BCC) representatives were participating the Production Forum in Borovets (12.01-14.01.2018). BCC delegates presented the possibilities for co-productions and promotion of more cross-border projects. The Forum was organized with support from the City.



“When the Trees Fall” in competition at the Berlinale

“When the Trees Fall” was supported by BCC in 2017, and is a co-production between Ukraine, Poland and Macedonia, with main producer Directory Films from Ukraine. When the Trees Fall” describes the gross poverty, ignorance and racism of rural Ukraine and takes in the extraordinary physical ugliness of the nearest city, whose high-rises makes Paris HMLs look like Park Avenue.

But the film, brought onto the market at the Berlin Film Festival by Latido Films, is no ordinary social realist tract. For her feature debut, which world premieres in Panorama, the Ukraine’s writer-director Marysia Nikitiuk has delivered a genre-blender, a coming-of-age tale laced with a local mob sub-plot, vignettes of misery, in country and city alike and a magic realism.

The film was lead-produced by Igor Savychenko at Ukraine’s Directory Films with the Ukraine’s Solar Media Entertainment, Macedonia’s Focus In and Poland’s Message Film. Nikitiuk’s screenplay won the Kieslowski award for best script at Cannes in 2016, as part of ScriptEast, a Creative Europe development program. It was selected for Works in Progress at Warsaw, Tallinn, Vilnius, Trieste and Odessa.


“Broken” at Cinematic Film Festival in Skopje

Cinematic, the International Film Editing Festival organized by the Association of Filmmakers and Television Professionals of Macedonia and funded by the Macedonian Film Agency, will kick off at the cinema Millenium Theater on Thursday at 8 pm. The festival will open with the Macedonian premiere of the Albanian-Italian-Macedonian co-production “Broken,” directed by Edmond Budina and supported by BCC. The three-day festival will focus on the work of editors, honoring them and attempting to reward them with a well-deserved place among international film artists.


VR Workshop Organized by BCC and Cinematic Film Festival

BCC organized a workshop for Virtual Reality - “VR as a technologically new way of creating content, applied in video games, movies and elsewhere” during Cinematic Film Festival in Skopje (14-16 December) at the University for Audiovisual Arts - Parisian European Film Academy ESRA – Skopje.

The workshop discussed the impact of VR in the area of storytelling across all media, with a particular emphasis on films and video games. We looked at some use cases and extrapolate where the impact of this technology will be greatest, and how to take the most advantage of this new way of experiencing stories and content. This was an introductory session, suitable for people just coming into this field as well as people interested in broadening their understanding about the ramifications and possible future in this field. Petar Kotevski is a veteran of video game development, with a long experience of over 15 years in the game development industry. He has worked in world-famous studios such as Crytek, Microsoft and Bungie. He has worked as a programmer, designer and creative director on games such as Far Cry (PC), 50Cent: Bulletproof (XBOX/PS2), Halo 3 (XBOX360), Halo 3: ODST (XBOX360), Halo Reach (XBOX360), Destiny (PS4/XBOXONE) and finally on the novel non-linear adventure game Sonder (PC) slated for release this year. He is founder and developer of KAMAi Media, the first AAA video game development studio in Macedonia and the region.


BCC grants support for three new projects

Balkan Cinema Cities Film Fund has the pleasure to announce the selected projects for 2017. Two feature films and one animated short film were selected from the eligible application within the Call for projects for support to fiction and documentary projects with a main producer based in countries members of BCC (Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania and Kosovo), EUROMED and EUROEAST countries. Deadline - July 24th 2017.

  • When the Trees Fall (2018), feature film
  • Neighbors (2018), feature film
  • Gottlieb (2018), animated short film


“Broken” premieres in Albania

The Albanian National Center of Cinematography (ANCC) is organizing the first edition of the Balkan Film Market (BFM), which aims to connect film and industry professionals from around Europe and the countries of the Western Balkans. The market will be held from 2-7 October in Tirana and is supported by Eurimages. Apart from becoming an important industry event, the BFM also intends to be a meeting point that will further promote cooperation between professionals in a rich and dense region that is yet to be discovered. BCC will have its stand and present its activities during Balkan Film Market in Tirana.


BCC Organizes Two Forums in Bitola

BCC Film Fund contributes in promotion of film production in Macedonia, Albania and Bulgaria and in the developing of a solid film infrastructure in the region. Our intention is to locate the most undeveloped fields in film industry in this part of the world and to try to improve the general situation.

During August BCC organizes two Forums in the Municipality of Bitola:

  • Second Forum on production design in Bitola and the first Forum for online distribution
  • First Forum for Online Distribution in Bitola

The Forum for production design will bring together national and international experts in the field of production design and creative industries to discuss on the challenges of this profession and was an excellent opportunity to compare the achievements between the participant states and an inspiration for future measures which will help improve the situation in this profession and the film industry in general.

The Forum for Online Distribution will promote the idea of a need of a sales agents even in process of pre-production, and to promote the need of a theatrical distribution of the films at many territories as possible. Sales agents, distributors and producers from the countries concerned will be invited.


“Broken” premieres in Albania

"Broken", the latest film of director Edmond Budina and supported by BCC premiered for the first time in Albanian cinemas in February this year. This artistic film brings on the screen a cast of actors like Laert Vasili, Nikola Llambro, Gladiola Harizaj, Sotiraq Bratko, Zamira Kita and manz others.

Budina is also the scriptwriter and one of the protagonists in the film. It focuses on the Albanian reality and its problems – environment pollution, corruption, and parent-children relation issues.

The film is an Albanian-Italian-Bulgarian-Macedonian, filmed in Albania, Italy and Macedonia. It was supported by Italian Ministry of Culture as well.


Online promotion of film trailers

Film Promotion via Trailer – Editing and Specifications was the topics of the workshop that Macedonian editor Atanas Georgiev held on 12 December on the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, as part of the Cinematic program. Students could learn more about trailers as powerful form that helps the film promotion.

The mapping of the current situation in this profession in the region, its advantages and disadvantages, directions and plan for its development, with special emphasis on exchange of experiences among the participating countries were the topics discussed on the first day.

Trailers from domestic films on which Georgiev worked as an editor were screened – “Mirage” by Svetozar Ristovski, “Cash & Marry” and the cult “Fight Club” by David Fincher. Georgiev explained that the length and layout of the trailer depends on where they are screened and in front of which audience to promote the film.

With three shots from the famous “Paris, Texas”, that Wes Anderson won the “Golden Palm” in Cannes in 1984 for, he explained how one trailer can be effectively edited to tells everything about the film.

Atanas Georgiev was born in 1977 in Skopje, Macedonia. He graduated in 2000 from the Academy of Drama Arts in Skopje in film & TV editing, and edited numerous feature films, documentaries, shorts, and music videos. He lives and works as a director and editor in Skopje. The film Cash & Marry earned him a pulmonary embolism, and also the Regards de Neuf Award in Nyon, Switzerland. He is known for his work on Mirage (2004), To The Hilt (2014), These Are the Rules (2014), Lazar (2015) and Amok (2016).


TIFForum 2016

Script Development Workshop & Pitching Competition in collaboration with Torino Film Lab

TIFForum is a 3-day intensive workshop for script development of 8 first or second feature film projects, consisting of individual consultations, practical writing exercises, and lectures. During the 3 days of the workshop, each of the 2 trainers in script development guide, and collaborate with, a group of 4 projects/filmmakers, forming a sort of creative family. Trainers and trainees are working together in planned meetings (individual and group ones), but they are also expected to be constantly “on call”, available to offer feedback to each other, each single day, from breakfast through dinner, through a series of additional, unexpected meetings moderated by the trainer/group leader, depending on the specific needs of each script of the group, at any given time.

Coinciding with the Tirana International Film Festival 2016 (3-11 November), the workshop produces training and networking synergies. TIFForum is supported by Balkan Cinema Cities.

Target group
Only the following countries are accepted: Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Romania and Croatia.


Forum on production design

Film experts from Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria and Albania talked about the possibilities of strengthening the mutual collaboration in the film industry and exchanging experiences during the 1st International Forum on Production Design that happened on 27th and 28th August in Bitola. The forum aims to strengthen the cooperation between film professionals in the region, and exchange experiences in the film industry. This event was excellent opportunity to compare achievements between the participating countries as well as an inspiration for future measures to improve the situation in this profession and the film industry in general.

The mapping of the current situation in this profession in the region, its advantages and disadvantages, directions and plan for its development, with special emphasis on exchange of experiences among the participating countries were the topics discussed on the first day.

Producer Dimitar Nikolov said that despite the difficult financial times we have great potential for investment in the film business. He added that the City of Bitola fully supports these film activities so they can gain their rightful place and can help with easier regional and cross-border collaboration, which is a European policy at this moment, especially in film and culture.

The director of the Macedonian Film Agency Mimi Gjorgoska-Ilievska said that this kind of meetings are particularly productive for regional co-productions. “This Forum focuses on important part of the film industry for which little is spoken in Macedonia, so we must pay more attention to production designers because without this segment there is no film”. She also spoke about the Film Industry Law and explained the benefits of co-producing and filming in the country.

Greek producer Michael Sarantinos explained how to finance films in Greece. He said that approximately 5,000 people work in the film industry in Greece operate. Most companies are small, usually of two people. About 20 million a year are invested in film. The biggest player is the Greek Film Fund, which allocates on average 150,000 euros per film. He added that the region offers excellent opportunities for development of the film industry that should be used. He said that even though is very expensive, a good production designer can actually save money because he knows the locations, knows how to camouflage etc.

“Such activities are a good opportunity for the development of film cooperation between neighboring countries”, noted the Bulgarian actor, director and producer Nikolay Mutafchiev. He said that this way we unite our forces and develop domestic productions that talk about our traditions, about our problems and that involve hiring domestic teams and actors, which helps in the development of the domestic production.

Director and producer Saso Pavlovski said that we know more about the American tradition than about the region. This must be changed immediately so we can compare what is good and what is bad. He thinks that we need more cooperation between the director and the production designer, to be more creative and spend a lot more time on preproduction.

Production designer Vlatko Zafirkovski said that this first International forum for production design in Macedonia is a chance to raise a few questions about the problems and deficiencies that are actually necessary for the development of the film industry in Macedonia, in order to even try to solve some of them. Talking about the disadvantages of this profession he said that the lack of a professional film studio is simply one of the major poblems in Macedonia that slow down the development of the film industry. He also mentioned that the procurement of materials is a big problem because there are not yet companies dealing with professional specific material sales (various silicones, gelatins, pigments, alchemist solvents etc.).

The second day the emphasis were placed on the ways of networking. The director of the International

Film Festival in Tirana, Agron Domi was also present. He said that the second event of this kind during will be organized during Tirana Film Festival in May next year.

The forum was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia within the Program for support of the creative industries.