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Aleksandar Ristoski, actor: “Golden Five” is a film about love

Ristoski studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Belgrade and has two exams left until graduation. In September he is filming "Zona Zamfirova 2", where he plays the role of apprentice Mane and he is taking part at the Venice Film Festival with Italian film "These Days". Ristoski is a young, charming actor with bright future ahead of him. He is reminiscent of the famous singer Goran Bregovic

Director Goran Trenchovski’s “Golden Five”, which will be screened out of competition, will close the International Cinematographers Film Festival “Manaki Brothers” in Bitola. “Golden Five” is a fictional story of one new and one violently interrupted love, intertwined by lust and betrayal. The film is produced by Skopje-based “Revolution Production”, financed by the Macedonian Film Agency and co-produced by the Macedonian Television and Belgrade-based “Art&Popcorn”. The script is written by Eleonora Veninova and co-screenwriters Biljana Garvanlieva and Goran Trenchovski according to motives written by Bratislav Taskovski. The production is in the hands of Dejan Milosevski, while the cinematographer is Apostol Trpeski.

For the young actor Aleksandar Ristoski (21), who portrays Maki, one of the five students, this is his first debut film, whose premiere he eagerly awaits. We talked to Ristoski shortly before his departure for Belgrade, where he studies at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in the class of Professor Gordana Maric. He has two exams left until graduation. In September he is filming “Zona Zamfirova 2″, where he plays the role of apprentice Mane and he is taking part at the Venice Film Festival with Italian film “These Days”.

Ristoski is a young, charming actor with bright future ahead of him. He is reminiscent of the famous singer Goran Bregovic.

“My dad has instilled the love for “Bijelo dugme”. Luckily, I had the honor to meet with him and talk to him – Ristoski said in an interview with “Republika”.

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Could you tell us something more about the plot of the film “Golden Five” and the character that you play?

RISTOSKI: The film is, primarily, a love story interrupted by the historic event when five Strumica students were liquidated. Past and present are intertwined in all that. The story revolves around Kata, who is in love with Maki, and Jiji, who is their best friend. Jiji betrays them and signs a statement that they, the students are state enemies, and the state system of Yugoslavia condemns it as the greatest crime and the greatest act of enmity and decides to liquidate them. The decision for their elimination comes from one man. This character is played by Slavko Stimac. That’s when this love is interrupted. Kata is left alone and finds solace in Jiji, but she never forgets what happened.

Is this your first debut film?

RISTOSKI: Yes, this is my first debut film in Macedonian language with a major role. Since I study at FDA in Belgrade, I was eager to play in a Macedonian-language film. I worked with Goran Trenchovski in a TV show for kids for MTV years ago and I didn’t expect him to recognize me. But he did. When I got the role, I was really happy.

What is like starring alongside Slavko Stimac and the doyen of Macedonian acting Ljupka Dzundeva?

RISTOSKI: Unfortunately, I didn’t shoot scenes with Dzundeva. But it was interesting how I met Stimac. I was in Belgrade and had to come to Skopje, and my mother told me that she had booked a plane ticket for me and learned that Slavko Stimac will be on the same flight. I didn’t know him personally then. Before we took off from Belgrade I approached him, introduced myself and told him that we are playing in the film “Golden Five” together and then we continued to chat. He is a very down to earth person, and he has a tremendous experience. He has played in all legendary films of former Yugoslavia like “Special education”, “Do You Remember Dolly Bell” and many others. While chatting, we learned that we were neighbors in Belgrade. After the film the contact remained, we have coffee together.


Scene from “Golden Five”

Is this a film about longing, reckless betrayals and youthful secrets?

RISTOSKI: This film is about love. It’s not a historical spectacle, on the contrary it’s an urban film. The historic moment serves as a base for the film, that’s where the idea for the film has come from. Everything else, the love scenes, socializing, is fiction.

Who are the golden boys in the “Golden Five?

RISTOSKI: It’s a group of young boys that study in different cities – Zagreb, Belgrade, Skopje… And they get together in their birth place during the holidays. In my opinion, they are romantic characters. They go to the theater, the cinema, follow everything new, they like art, culture, they read banned books, they listen to music on records, that’s their crime, if we can call it so.

Is this film showing that no dark force in the world is eternal?

RISTOSKI: Yes. It shows that even after so many years after the event, which took place on August 13, 1951, people are still talking about that topic. As much as one tries to hide that event, good and love always prevail.

Why did you decide to study in Belgrade?

RISTOSKI: I was born in Tetovo. In 2001 I moved to Skopje. In 2012 I went to Belgrade, when I was 17 years old. I was third year high school then. I went to the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje first, but I learned that that year there won’t be a department of playacting. I started thinking where could I enroll and Belgrade seemed like the best option. At 17, I applied for the entrance exam in Belgrade, I passed the first round, got shortlisted and then I was accepted. Then the question was what now, I’m only 17 years old. But I enrolled and now I have two exams left until I graduate by mid-October.

Where do you see your future? In Serbia or in Macedonia?

RISTOSKI: Honestly, I would like, if I could, to be both in Serbia and Macedonia. To fight on two fronts. Belgrade is much bigger than Skopje and there are much more opportunities for young actors. However, Skopje is Skopje. That’s where I grew up, and native language is native language. As much as I speak Serbian language well, still, I’m more comfortable with my mother tongue.

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What are your current and future engagements?

RISTOSKI: I have a performance in “Donkey Years” in the “Bosko Buha” theater, and two other performances in the National Theatre in Sombor. The first is “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare, and the second is “A Princess and a diamond” by Mateja Popovic. It is an enthusiastic project of ours. Popovic is an actor, but he wrote the text for the child’s play. From 13 to 22 September I will be in Valjevo, where “Zoma Zamfirova 2″ is being filmed. I’m playing the role of apprentice Mane. The action in the film takes place two years after the first part. No one from the old cast of “Zona Zamfirova” is playing. I am also lucky to attend the Venice Film Festival with an Italian film that I worked on with a colleague of mine. The film is called “These Days” by Giuseppe Piccioni and has entered the official selection of the 73rd Venice Film Festival.

By: Aleksandra M. Budalevska

Photo credit: Aleksandar Ivanovski