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Milcho Manchevski Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (1)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (19)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (1)

Born in Skopje, Macedonia, Yugoslavia

Mini Bio (1)

Milcho Manchevski is a New York-based Macedonian-born film director, writer, photographer and artist. His Academy-award nominated film Before the Rain(1994) won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, FIPRESCI and Independent Spirit, along with 30 other awards. The New York Times included it on its "1,000 Best Films Ever Made" list.

Manchevski has directed four other features - Bikini (2017), Mothers (2010), Shadows (2007) and Dust (2001), an episode of HBO's The Wire and 50 short forms (including Thursday, which was part of the Venice Feature Reloaded (2013). He has won awards for his experimental films (1.73), music videos (MTV and Billboard for Tennessee) and commercials (Macedonia Timeless).

His work had more than 250 festival screenings (including Venice, Berlin, Toronto, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Tokyo, Jerusalem, Hong Kong, Stockholm, etc. His films have been distributed in more than 50 countries.

He has published books of fiction (The Ghost of My Mother), essays (Truth and Fiction: Notes on Exceptional Faith in Art) short story (Pictures, Word and Lies) and photographs (Street and Five Drops of Dream, books that accompany two exhibitions of photographs).

Manchevski has staged performance art by himself and as a (founding) member of the group 1AM.

His work has been included in the curricula of numerous universities and has been the subject of two academic conferences (in Firenza and Leipzig); he holds an Honorary Doctorate from Moscow's VGIK.

Manchevski has taught and guest-lectured extensively: University of Cambridge, Columbia Univesity, VGIK, Filmuniversitat Babelsberg "Konard Wolf", University of Chicago, University of Tokyo,Yale University, The Arts University College at Bourenmouth, Carleton University in Ottawa, Baltic Film and Media School, Elon College, Mahidol University Interanational College - Bangkok , Minsk University, Southern Ilinois University, Union College, University of Bielefeld - Germany, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - Brazil, University of Central Florida, University of Washington, FDU - Belgrade, University of Texas in Austin, Cineteca di Bologna, University of Oklahoma, EICTV in Cuba, University of Valladolid, Institute of Advanced Studies Hungary, Shanghai University in China and most notably as Head of the Directing Studies at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts' Graduate Film program. He is currently teaching directing at the Feristein Graduate School of Cinema at Brooklyn College.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Erika

Trivia (19)

1986: Best Experimental film, Belgrade Alternative Film Festival.
In 1997 he was supposed to direct Three Kings (1999) for Warner Brothers, but left the project due to disagreements about the filming locations.
Milcho Manchevski was supposed to direct Ravenous (1999) for 20th Century Fox, but had to leave the production because of 'creative differences' with Fox 2000 president and executive Laura Ziskin (1950-2011).
Before the Rain (1994) was the first film in Macedonian language and the first film from the new country of Macedonia to be distributed in over 50 countries. It won over 30 international awards and was named 'Film of the Year' in Sweden, Argentina and Turkey.
Before the Rain (1994) was almost canceled, when two weeks into production, one of the financiers, Channel 4 of UK pulled out of the project. British Screen Finance (aka 'British Screen') stepped up and helped complete the film. Director Milcho Manchevski credits Simon Perry, the Chief Executive of 'British Screen' from 1991 to 2000, with saving his film and thanked him in his acceptance speech when he received the 'Golden Lion' at the 'Venice International Film Festival 1994'.
One of his favorite actors is Rade Serbedzija.
He used to teach Directing at NYU's Tisch School Graduate Program, but is now teaching at Brooklyn College's Feirstein Graduate School.
Named Krzysztof Kieslowski, Roman Polanski, Sam Peckinpah, Todd Solondz, and avant-garde artists Stan Brakhage, Michael Snow among his favorite filmmakers.
Milcho Manchevski has cameos in all of his films - in photographs. In Before the Rain (1994) he is the victim of a point-blank execution, in Dust (2001) he is the stern mother of teenage Luke and Elijah, in Shadows (2007) he is on Lazar's screen saver, in Majki (2010), he is a basketball player dunking the ball on a monitor in a sport store, and in Bikini Moon (2017), he is on Krishna's t-shirt in the opening scene.
Photographs and photographers are always prominently featured in all of Manchevski's films.
His films always begin with a shot of tomatoes (in a monastery garden, on a New York deli newsstand, on a computer screen) or feature tomatoes later in the story (a bottle of tomato juice).
Milcho Manchevski started publishing fiction at the age of 13, after winning a national award (presented by Manchevski's hero, the Nobel-Prize winning author Ivo Andric).
President of the 'Pardi di domani' Jury, Locarno International Film Festival 2015.
The casting and selection process for Bikini Moon (2017) took almost two years.
Bikini Moon (2017) was filmed in a rigorous, documentary manner.
Even though he has been living in New York since 1985, all of his films before Bikini Moon (2017), which was shot on location in New York City, were made in Europe.
His interest in the clashing and overlapping nature of fiction and documentary is apparent in Majki (2010), Thursday (2013), Bikini Moon (2017), as well as essays and books including but not limited to: "Why I Like Writing and Hate Directing" and "Truth and Fiction: Notes on (Exceptional) Faith in Art.".
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival in 2017.
Manchevski shoot a short film while guest- lecturing in Cuba. "A study of the everyday and the secret deliverance that lies waiting, while no one is looking" - Mike Hoolboom The little film achieved a great success with screenings at over 20 festivals all over the world and winning the Ellen Award at Aspen Shortsfest and Special Mention at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival.

Personal Quotes (8)

There are too many people in the film industry with the morals of an amoeba.
Some things are not for sale, such as creative freedom and intellectual property. The way you cannot sell a baby.
The real issue [on Ravenous (1999)] was that I would not accept her [studio head Laura Ziskin] meddling in the directing process, even if it meant that I was not to complete the picture. You cannot just direct vicariously through someone else. If you want to do it, stand behind the camera, do not hide in an office.
Mainstream narrative cinema is all about expectations, and really low expectations, to that. We have become used to expecting very little from the films we see, not only in terms of stories, but more importantly and less obviously in terms of the mood, the feeling we get from a film. I think we know what kind of a mood and what kind of a feeling we're going to get from a film before we go see the film. It's from the poster, from the title, the stars, and it's become essential in our decision-making and judging processes. I believe it's really selling ourselves way too short. I like films that surprise me. I like films that surprise me especially after they've started. I like a film that goes one place and then takes you for a loop, then takes you somewhere else, and keeps taking you to other places both emotionally and story-wise... keeps changing the mood, shifts in the process, becomes fearless... All of this needs to be unified by an artistic vision, making it a spirited collage, not a pastiche. A Robert Rauschenberg.
I am interested in Cubist storytelling - when the artist fractures the story and puts it back together in a more complex (and, thus, more interesting) way. More importantly, when the artist keeps shifting the emotional tone of the film, bringing a narrative film closer to the experiences of modern art.
I don't think the artist has a dialogue with the audience or with the film critics or historians - he or she has a dialogue only with the work of art itself. The audience can always be bribed, something well illustrated by the success of the formulaic blockbusters. The critic or the historian can be bribed too, as illustrated by the art-house genre or the Sundance genre or the film-from-an-exotic-country-at-a-major-festival genre. In other words, working within the expectations of the viewers is a way of bribing them.
Love the old description of the relationship between the artist and the art critic as similar to the relationship between the donkey and the zoologist.
At one point, I would send a script to producers and they would send them back unopened, saying "We cannot read them because you do not have an agent." And then a few months after that, I was in receptions for the President of Italy and Robert Redford was giving me script notes. At one point, I was at Mick Jagger's birthday party, I was introduced to him and he said "Oh, Before the Rain (1994), yeah!" and turns to his producer, Don Was, and starts telling him the story of "Before the Rain". I thought, "Here I am listening to Mick Jagger describing my film to his producer, it's probably time to retire."

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