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Somewhere Up The Mountain by Anita Gorgieska won a Gold Seal and Special Cultural Award at BIAFF 2005
"I think this is the first Macedonian film to come to your Festival and I am so happy to be here" - Anita Gorgieska
The 17-minute film was shot as a project of the Kumanovo National Museum in November 2004 in the village of Dlabochitza. Anita Gorgieska was the scriptwriter and director, Dejan Dimeski, the cameraman and Ljupco Argirovski, the editor.
I was in Malta for the Golden Knight Festival in November. There I met Harold Trill, who had seen two of my films there. We exchanged addresses and he later sent me entry forms for the IAC Competition. Luckily, I had just completed a new film, Somewhere Up The Mountain, which I had made at the end of November. That film took a Gold prize at the Macedonia Festival. I contacted Brian Dunckley by email, entered the film and was very surprised when he told me it had won a Gold Seal. I didn't believe it!
I work as an ethnologist on projects sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia. I often go to the mountains and I research the traditions and culture of the people of our country. I came across this village where there were only men, most of them over 40. It was very interesting. Perhaps ten men lived there with no women, no children, only their animals. They form strong bonds with their animals. Laste Arsovski, the main character in my film, will not let anyone else ride his horse Lasta. They have been together for nine years. The villagers are happy people, because they know almost nothing beyond their community.
We stayed in the village for five days, making our base in a small house. We got there by jeep because there is no real road. The site is 1,700 metres up the mountains which divide Macedonia and Serbia.
During my stay I talked with the men and thought about their psychological state. They told me absolutely everything about themselves. They did not worry about the camera because they had never seen one. No one came up there to take pictures. At first Laste took the lead and later others in the group spoke up.
I had a premiere of the film in the Cultural Centre, 'Trajko Prokopiev' in my home town of Kumanovo. Laste had not been in the town for three years, but he came for this. Five of them borrowed a jeep and came for the event. Everyone wanted to talk to them. When I got home from shooting I cried. We have everything but we are not happy. They are happy people. At the premiere all the guests were tearful. What I saw on the mountain, how I felt there, I tried to put into the film.
So far I have made five ethnological studies including Village Mummers - Guys From Orasac (2002) and Erdeleze - Living Tradition (2003).
Some of my films have done quite well at festivals and I want to send them to the other European festivals. For example I collected the entry form for the Guernsey Lily here. This is a good festival for meeting people. I think this is the first Macedonian film to come to your Festival and I am so happy to be here.
- Anita Gorgieska