April 22, 2010

Award-winning SIUC graduate to screen his films

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Award-winning film director, writer and Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate Milcho Manchevski will return to campus next week to screen two of his critically acclaimed films and talk with students.

The College of Mass Communication and Media Arts’ Department of Cinema and Photography is hosting Manchevski as part of its visiting artist series.

Manchevski will screen two of his films, “Before the Rain,” and “Shadows,” in addition to visiting classrooms and conducting a workshop, said Susan Felleman, an associate professor in cinema studies and women’s studies.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover the screenings. Milcho Manchevski should be available for interviews. For more information, contact Associate Professor Susan Felleman at 618/453-1485.

The screening of Manchevski’s Academy Award-nominated first feature film, “Before the Rain,” produced in 1994, is at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 27, in Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium. The film was a 1995 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, and was on the New York Times’ list of the best 1,000 films ever made.

The screening of Manchevski’s 2007 film, “Shadows,” will be at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 28, also in Guyon Auditorium. The drama was Macedonia’s entry in the foreign-language category for the 2008 Academy Awards.

The screenings are free. Both films do have adult themes, Felleman said.

“I’m excited about his visit because he’s the kind of writer-director who is extremely knowledgeable about film history and has taken in a lot of really diverse ideas about film art,” Felleman said. “You can see the way his knowledge of film history, history, and theoretical and philosophical ideas infuses his work, which is both very artistic and fun.”

Manchevski is coming to SIUC from his hometown in Skopje, Macedonia. It was when Manchevski was 19 years old that he heard the late Richard Blumenberg, an SIUC film professor, present a lecture in Manchevski’s hometown in the former Yugoslavia. Blumenberg helped Manchevski, who was already involved in film, win a scholarship, and also after arriving in Carbondale.

Manchevski earned a bachelor’s degree in cinema and photography in May 1983. He returned to campus in April 2005 for showing of his films.

In addition to his feature work, which also includes the 2001 film, “Dust,” Manchevski has also written and directed more than 50 short forms, including experimental films, documentaries, commercials and music videos. He earned an MTV Award for the 1992 music video, “Tennessee” by Arrested Development, an effort that Rolling Stone in 1994 labeled one of the 100 best videos ever. He is currently working on another feature film, “Mothers.”

Manchevski “is one of our most accomplished alumni” in cinema and photography, Felleman said, noting the list also includes 1994 Academy Award nominee Steve James and filmmaker Joe Swanberg. “And as with these other two he stands for one of our ideals in the program which is producing independent artists.

“As someone who teaches film theory to future filmmakers I think the example of someone who can bring intelligence and knowledge to the art of filmmaking is fantastic,” she said.

The SIUC Student Fine Arts Activity Fee makes the Department of Cinema and Photography Visiting Artist Series possible. Film Alternatives is also supporting the series.