The director of the Cinematheque of Macedonia, the country’s national cinema institute, has revealed plans for a new digitisation programme aimed at preserving a range of at-risk Macedonian films. Among the films to be restored in this way are Thirst (Dmitri Osmanli, 1971), Father (Kole Angelovski, 1973) and Hi-Fi (Vladimir Blazhevski, 1987).
Mimi Gjorgoska-Ilievska, who announced the news as part of UNESCO’s World Day of Audiovisual Heritage, also revealed that the Cinematheque will now be able to screen these restored versions, as well as other national and international classics, after acquiring a new digital projector.
The double announcement is a further sign of the former Yugoslav republic’s intention, post-independence, of reclaiming its specific cultural heritage. The negatives of many films produced in Yugoslav Macedonia are held in the Yugoslav Film Archive in Belgrade, where some of the planned digital restoration will also take place.
Since 2011, Macedonia’s Minister for Culture Elizabeta Kanchevska-Milevska has introduced a law on the Protection of Audiovisual Material, as well as funding digital restoration work and the construction of new storage facilities for the Cinema Institute.