Macedonian documentary Honeyland has scooped three prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, including the prestigious World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize.
Directed by Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska and filmed over the course of three years, the documentary follows Europe’s last female bee hunter, Hatidze Muratova, as she battles to care for her 85-year-old mother and carve out a livelihood in her remote mountain village.
But while the arrival of a new family and their seven children breathes new life into this isolated corner of the world, Hatidze soon finds herself in conflict with her neighbours, torn between profit and protecting the bees’ delicate ecosystem.
As well as the Grand Jury Prize, the film also took home the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Impact for Change, and the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Cinematography.
Both directors have now set up an educational fund for the seven children in the film — as well as their new baby sister, who was born on the day of the project’s premiere. They described the children as living in a place where “nothing is for sure, not even running water in the heat of a summer’s day or a warm meal on a freezing winter’s night.”
They also reached out to viewers to contribute by buying a jar of Honeyland’s own natural honey.
“You can help these eight kids — Mustafa, Muzafer, Veli, Ali, Alit, Gamze, Ljutvish, and the infant which is still nameless,” the pair wrote on the documentary’s website. “You buy some of Honeyland’s finest honey and they’ll get all the money.”
To find your screening of Honeyland, or to donate to the children’s education fund, visit the website here.