Director Ilija Cvetkovski is competing at IFFNY 2018 with his feature documentary “Avec L’amour”. Written and produced by Atanas Georgiev, starring Dionis Paslakov, the documentary will screen at Producers Club Theaters at 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 26, 2018 (358 W 44th St, New York, NY 10036).
Member of the European Young Film Academy, Ilija Cvetkovski is a film director and photographer with 8 years of hands on experience in film and photography. In 2010, he suspended his architecture school in Montpellier and relocated to Skopje, to pursue a career in film. During the film school he made his first short film, Dushan (2012) which was shown to numerous student festivals.
Inspired by the power and influence of personal films, in 2012 he starts to shoot his first documentary feature, which eventually moves to a bigger scale, thus requiring a lot more finances. Another two years would be spent in the editing to make “Avec l’amour”, which would premiere on HotDocs Toronto film festival in may 2017.
Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Film Director Ilija Cvetkovski
NY Elite: Congratulations on being an official selection at the prestigious International Filmmaker Festival of New York. What are your thoughts about being accepted at IFFNY 2018 film festival and having your film screen in New York City?
Ilija Cvetkovski: After the audacious premiere on HotDocs in Toronto last year, then Munich, Sarajevo and the attention the film got at home, I am really proud that this underdog story will once again cross the ocean to IFFNY.
NY Elite: Out of the 500 submissions world-wide, your film was selected as the top 40 for IFFNY. What does this mean for you in terms of representing your country/city at this international film competition?
Ilija Cvetkovski: I think the film really shows, in the most authentic way, how these people dare to dream in a not so developed society, and it is always an excitement to watch the film with a foreign audience, because the humor always came first.
NY Elite: With what project are you partaking at IFFNY 2018? What is it about?
Ilija Cvetkovski: Avec l’amour is the story of Dionis, professor of principle, a husband, passionate car collector.
Adored by his students, supported by his wife and ignored by the community. A free man who gave up on materialism, and yet has a hundred cars. However, in a time when his collection and his dream to open up a museum are burdening his family, he was facing one of the biggest transitions in life. Retirement.
NY Elite: Who else is involved in the making of this project? Tell us a little bit more about the story and who is in it.
Ilija Cvetkovski: Since it was 5 years in the making, different professionals were involved in the project. But I must note that each and everyone of them had a really creative and intuitive influence on the story and how it all came together in the end. I think that the story was an engine of optimism and bright light for all of us, especially in the making of it.
NY Elite: What message do you want to convey with this project?
Ilija Cvetkovski: After already being my high school professor for four years, this time i wanted to get to know Dionis as a man, rather than just a mentor.
Regardless of where the story would go, his way of living a passionate and life, filled with a great sense of humour, was what i wanted to to be seen in the first place. In that contrast i think lied a story that could be explored more poetically with a camera.
NY Elite: Do you plan to attend the IFFNY Festival taking place on May 25-29, 2018? What do you want the audience at IFFNY to take away from this film?
Ilija Cvetkovski: It would definitely be the emotions and the empathy towards the main characters. Because in the end, that’s what we all cared about in the making of it. What we really wanted to achieve was to remind the audience of all the small things in life that makes us happy. That the beauty is in the process, or, in the giving. Time, or attention. But the accent is definitely on love. Love towards old cars of course, but also towards life and relationships.
NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Ilija Cvetkovski: The rhythm of the story and its visual narration play a great role and of course the message it sends. Good film are supposed to entertain and it certainly has to make you feel or re-think your opinions.
NY Elite: Top 3 favorite films/projects you have been involved in?
Ilija Cvetkovski: My first short film (Dushan) and Avec l’amour.
NY Elite: What are your career highlights and achievements thus far?
Ilija Cvetkovski: I would say that the idea to start a film project out of passion is the highlight of my career so far.
NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
Ilija Cvetkovski: I spend my time between screenwriting, photography and editing.
NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Ilija Cvetkovski: 1) Write and direct original screenplays
2) Make them with the most modern technology available
3) Self-finance them.