FESTIVALS: Macedonian Film Festivals Bounce Back after COVID-19 Pandemic


    SKOPJE: Open-air cinemas are gradually beginning to reopen in North Macedonia and film festivals are starting to release their dates after the long hibernation since the autumn of 2020. The first to break the ice is the Philosophical Film Festival, which will take place in Skopje as a hybrid edition from 27 May to 3 June 2021.

    The 11th edition of the festival will screen 40 films in the Cinematheque of North Macedonia, both inside the screening hall and at the open-air cinema, while the accompanying programme will be held online.

    This isn't the only film event making news this spring. Traditionally held in November, the Cinedays European Film Festival has rescheduled its 20th edition for July 2021. The organisers have cautiously chosen to hold the 2021 edition from 15 to 21 July hoping to benefit from the lifting of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and hold only an in-person event. This is the second time the event has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was held in September 2020 with a reduced programme lasting fewer days.

    The organisers of the Beach Film Festival have announced that they will hold the 4th edition of the festival in Ohrid from 21 to 25 July 2021. The call for submissions is open until 1 June 2021.

    Queer Cinema Days are held on 25 and 26 May 2021 in the Cinematheque of North Macedonia as part of the Skopje Film Festival, but the 24th edition of the festival will probably be held in September like last year. The 2020 edition of the festival kicked off five months later than planned, in September 2020 with open-air screenings.

    The International Cinematographers Film Festival Manaki Brothers in Bitola hasn't announced the dates for the 42nd edition of the festival traditionally held in September. The 41st edition wasn't held in its traditional form, but it was celebrated as a formal one-hour event in Bitola.

    The in-person events will take into account precautions to address the ongoing pandemic. Wearing masks is mandatory and all venues must work at 30% of their capacity.

    All the festivals are supported by the North Macedonia Film Agency.