Second Creative Cities Forum for Film from the UNESCO Network: Creating the City of the Future From 25th until 28th August 2020

Vesna RistovskaBitola

The Second Forum of UNESCO Creative Cities for Film started with the screening of the Bulgarian film “Glory” by the director duo Grozeva – Valchanov. This year’s topic was Creation of the city of the future. The forum is of particular importance for affirming the opportunities of Bitola and our country in general and connecting and increasing the cooperation with other film cities from the UNESCO network.

“Becoming part of UNESCO Creative Cities for Film, new opportunities for promotion and further development of the city opened. This also means new ideas for projects in different areas and worldwide cooperation. Among the other goals of the forum is to contribute to a positive impact on the further development of culture, tourism, and thus promotion of the local economy”- said in the opening words Vesna Ristovska from Film Center Bitola which aims to help promote all film values and activities arising from this important membership.

Bitola is an equal member of the creative cities for film from the UNESCO network since 2015 and one of the 18 UNESCO Creative Cities for Film. The forum managed to gather more than 20 domestic and foreign participants, combined with physical and virtual online presence with camera recording and live streaming. All events took place in strict compliance with the protocols for organizing public events.

The second day of the forum was attended by representatives of UNESCO Creative Cities for Film – Jordi Hernàndez (Terrassa UNESCO City of Film), Anika Eunhye Kim (Busan UNESCO City of Film), Monika Marlicka-Robert (Łódź UNESCO City of Film), Alessandra Pescetta (CSC – National Film Archive, Rome), Magdalena Popovic (Sarajevo UNESCO City of Film) and David Wilson (Bradford UNESCO City of Film) who shared their experiences of dealing with the COVID-19 virus crisis, as well as future steps.

Bradford is the first city of film. Wilson noted that despite the crisis, the film industry in the UK is experiencing continued growth and unexpected economic benefits from the epidemic. Popovic, meanwhile, stressed that the decision to hold Sarajevo Film Festival entirely online as the biggest cultural event has caused the city huge financial losses. Due to the crisis, Busan had to cancel the presence of directors from film cities from the UNESCO network as part of the Intercity Busan Film Festival, a multi-year project that encourages and develops cooperation between these film cities – said Kim, who hopes that next year this tradition will continue.

The director Pescetta from Rome was also virtually present, who last year, thanks to Busan’s exchange program, made a short film there and shared part of her experience. The Forum was also attended by representatives of relevant domestic institutions, NGOs and the business sector working in the creative industries and film, as well as representatives of relevant domestic institutions, NGOs and the business sector working in the creative industries and film.
The director of the Cinematheque of North Macedonia, Vladimir Angelov said that thanks to the first Forum of Creative Cities for Film that was held last year in Bitola, they managed to cooperate with the National Film Archive CSC from Italy and this year will have a review films by the great Italian director Federico Fellini in Skopje. Maja Andonovska – Ilijevski (Center for Culture – Bitola), Elena Bojadzieva-Cvetkovska (UMPAKI Skopje), Blaze Dulev (Quasar Film), Goce Bogoevski (SMART-CUL-TOUR, Bitola), Meri Stojanova (Institute and Museum Bitola), Elena Ivcevska (MEDAL BIM, Bitola) also participated.

The forum is organized by Film Center Bitola in order to increase cooperation between cities in the field of innovation and education. The project is supported by the Ministry of Culture of North Macedonia.