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International Cinematographers Film Festival Manaki Brothers

The name of the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival “MANAKI BROTHERS”, is in honor and inspired by the abundant cinematographic opus of the MANAKI brothers: Yanaki (1878-1954) and Milton (1880-1964), the two brothers who in 1905 brought the first film camera on the Balkan Peninsula. The festival has started in 1979 as an initiative of The Association of Film Professionals of Macedonia, the city of Bitola and the Cinematheque of Macedonia, Today the Festival is one of the most respectable places in the World, where the work of the Directors of photography are priced. Every year the best cinematographers across the worlde compete for the three main festival awards: The Golden, the Silver and the Bronze Camera 300. Every time, the festival is held, thousands admirers of the film art enjoy the best cinematic achievements of the past year. Besides in the movies, they are enjoying in the surrounding (environment) of many guest and stars known from the screen.

14 -21 September 2019 Bitola, Macedonia


Lifetime achievement award “Golden Camera 300” for 2019 to greek cinematographer YORGOS ARVANITIS




This year the International Cinematographers’ Film Festival Manaki Brothers celebrates the art of Yorgos Arvanitis, one of the most important European directors of photography of all time, whose work has influenced the imagery of generations of cinéphiles all over the world. 

Active as camera operator and cinematographer since the Sixties, Arvanitis found commercial success in the Greek movie business at FINOS Films before starting his legendary working partnership with Theo Angelopoulos, shifting then steadily to art house cinema and finally moving to France, his other professional homeland.

Over almost six decades, he has lit and shaped images of striking beauty in more than one hundred feature films across Europe and the Mediterranean region.



Yorgos Arvanitis was born on February 22, 1941 in Dilofo, a small village in the regional unit of Phthiotis, Central Greece.

His childhood is heavily influenced by the social and political turbulence that followed the German-Italian occupation of Greece. Having lost his father, a member of the Resistance, at a very young age he is forced to relocate with his brothers and sisters in Athens. In the capital, as young man, he completes his education studying as electrician and briefly works in the construction business. Moved by an innate curiosity towards technology, soon he develops an interest in cinema and begins a very intense technical apprenticeship, which comes to an end when the glorious Greek production company FINOS Films hires him as cinematographer on Yannis Dalianidis’ O xypolytos pringips in 1966.

While still employed at FINOS Films (for which he will continue working intensively until 1972), Arvanitis starts his legendary collaboration with Theo Angelopoulos, by far the most famous and influential artistic partnership in the history of Greek cinema. Their first film together is the short The Broadcast, a satirical piece of cinema vérité, which wins the prize of the Hellenic Association of Film Critics at the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 1968. Two years later, Reconstitution (1970), shot in a haunting black and white in a remote village in Epirus, marks their first international critical success and Arvanitis receives the first of the eight awards for best cinematography won in Thessaloniki in over thirty years.

The following ten feature films made with Angelopoulos between 1972 and 1998 – most of which shot with ARRI 2C, BL2, BL3 and BL4 cameras - are all milestones: Days of '36 (1972), The Travelling Players (1975), The Hunters (1977), Alexander the Great (1980), Voyage to Cythera (1984), The Beekeeper (1986), Landscape in the Mist (1988), The Suspended Step of the Stork (1991), Ulysses' Gaze (1995) and the Cannes Palme d’Or winning Eternity and a Day (1998). Through them a vision of Greece is imposed on the public all over Europe and beyond. Angelopoulos’ melancholic cinematic world finds in Arvanitis a director of photography capable not only of lighting the scenes with incomparable elegance but also of creating spaces through camera movements and colour nuances, of giving texture and depth to ghostly and laconic characters always caught walking along the almost invisible borders that separate past and present, reality and memory.

At the end of the Seventies, Arvanitis has the chance to add to his filmography two important collaborations with Michael Cacoyannis (Iphigenia, 1977) and Jules Dassin (A Dream of Passion, 1978). The shift to art house cinema is irreversible. Now a well-established DoP, admired for the unmistakable precision of his masterful long takes, in the mid-Eighties he is nevertheless forced to face the decline of the Greek film industry. The fear of becoming a cliché and the awards won in Chicago for Landscape in the Mist and in Venice for Jean-Jacques Andrien’s Australia in 1989 convince him to move to Paris with his family that same year. A member of the Association Française des directeurs de la photographie Cinématographique since 1991, in France he widens his artistic horizons and puts his pictorial talent at the service of some of the most interesting filmmakers on the European scene. Over the following three decades he associates himself with an impressive number of world-renowned directors: Randa Chahal Sabag (Sand Screens, 1991), Volker Schlöndorff (Voyager, 1991), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Je pense à vous, 1992), Marco Bellocchio (The Butterfly’s Dream, 1994), Agnieszka Holland (Total Eclipse, 1995), Goran Paskaljević (Someone Else’s America, 1995), Marco Ferreri (Nitrate Base, 1996), Sean Mathias (Bent, 1997), Radu Mihăileanu (Train of Life, 1998), Jonathan Nossiter (Signs & Wonders, 2000), Amos Gitai (Kedma, 2002), Frederick Wiseman (The Last Letter, 2002), Pantelis Voulgaris (Brides, 2004) and Mehdi Charef (Graziella, 2015).  Widely praised is also his work with Catherine Breillat: four films in eight years, from the controversial Romance (1999) to The Last Mistress (2007).

His most recent high-profile collaboration - after years spent supporting young talents such as Yasmine Kassari (The Sleeping Child, 2004), Thomas Clay (The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, 2005) and Joyce A. Nashawati (Blind Sun, 2015) - is with a fellow countryman who also expatriated to France, Costa-Gavras. Their new film, Adults in the Room, based on Yanis Varoufakis’ best-selling political memoir, is currently in post-production.


Nominated president of the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 2015 and of the Greek Society of Cinematographers in 2019, Yorgos Arvanitis hasn’t stopped shooting. Fifty-three years after receiving his first credit as DoP, he is still a towering figure in European cinema.


Massimo Lechi

Film critic, Italy





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About International Cinematographers Film Festival Manaki Brothers

The International Cinematographers` Film Festival “Manaki Brothers”is the oldest one among the few film festivals in the world that evaluate the creative work of the cinematographer as a key figure in the creation procedure of the film.

Bitola, Skopje


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