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Milcho Manchevski begins filming Willow in Macedonia after break of nine years (video)

Milcho Manchevski began production on his sixth feature film at the village of Krushevica near Prilep on Friday.

Willow is the first movie the moviemaker is filming in Macedonia in nine years.

The screenplay, which Manchevski wrote, divides the film into three storylines focusing on love and trust. “Despite being centuries apart, the characters in Willow have similar worries, joys, and dreams,” he said.

According to Manchevski, “whatever the topic or the message behind a work of art, what matters most is if it touches you, makes you cry, makes you laugh, or makes you mad.”

Willow’s main characters are played by Nikola Risteski, Sara Klimoska, Natalija Teodosieva, Nenad Nacev, with Kamka Tocinovski rounding out the central cast.

The supporting cast includes Petar Mirchevski, Blagoj Chorevski, Ratka Radmanovikj, Ana Kostovska, Laze Manaskovski, Katina Ivanova, Kire Gjorevski, Adem Karaga, and Jelena Jovanova Perikj.

Filming will take place in the picturesque villages of Shtavica, Dunje, and Zovich in the Mariovo region, at the Treskavec Monastery near Prilep, as well as at various locations in Skopje over the next month and a half.

Willow is a co-production between Macedonia, Hungary, and Belgium. It received support from Albania, as well.

Támas Dobos is the film’s director of photography, David Munns is the production designer, and Zaklina Krstevska and Györgyi Szakács are the costume designers.

Nikola Ivanovic is the assistant director, and Milka Anchevska is the casting director. Jane Kjortoshev is the producer and Nick Powel the executive producer.

The last movie Manchevski filmed in Macedonia was 2010’s Mothers. His latest, Bikini Moon (2017), was entirely shot in New York.

Manchevski’s Oscar-nominated Before the Rain (1994) made the New York Times “1000 Best Movies Ever Made” list.

His directorial debut also won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film and several awards at the 1994 Venice Film Festival, including the Golden Lion, the FIPRESCI prize, the UNESCO prize, and the Audience Award.

Author of the photos from the film set of Willow: Aleksandar Risteski