Before The Rain, A chronology of a success
Set against a background of political turbulence in Macedonia and contemporary London, three love stories intertwine to create a powerful portrait of modern Europe in Milcho Mancevski’s BEFORE THE RAIN.
When a mysterious incident in the fabled Macedonian mountains blows out of proportion, it threatens to start a civil war, and brings together a silent monk, a London picture editor, and a disillusioned war photographer in a tragic tale of fated lovers. Told in three parts, and linked by characters and events, BEFORE THE RAIN explores the uncompromising nature of war as it ravages the lives of unsuspecting, and forces the innocent to take sides…
WITH A SHRIEK BIRDS,
FLEE ACROSS THE BLACK SKY,
PEOPLE ARE SILENT,
MY BLOOD ACHES FROM WAITING
AIM PRODUCTIONS, NOE PRODUCTIONS AND VARDAR FILM WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF BRITISH
SCREEN AND THE EUROPEAN COPRODUCTION FUND (UK)
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
POLYGRAM AUDIOVISUEL & THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE FOR THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
A FILM BY
KATRIN CARTLIDGE RADE SERBEDZIJA GREGORIE COLIN LABINA MITEVSKA
MONI DAMEVSKI LIORA REICH
SHARON LOMOVSSKY DAVID MUNNS
MUSIC COMPOSED BY
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
CO PRODUCED BY
FREDERIQUE DUMAS-ZAJDELA MARC BASCHET AND GORJAN TOZIJA FOR VARDAR FILMS
JUDY COUNIHAN, CEDOMIR KOLAR, SAM TAYLOR, AND CAT VILLIERS
WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
The director of commercials and videos Milcho Manchevski, after extended stay in USA, is in Skopje again. The purpose of his visit are the meetings with “Vardar Film” for the realization of his first movie, for which he wrote the script himself. The movie should be a co-production between “Vardar Film” and two foreign studios. According to the informed in these meeting, it is expected this project to be a huge success.
The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Macedonia decides to finance Milcho Manchevski’s movie, under the working title “Before the Rain.” It is expected that “Vardar Film” will sign a contract with foreign studios from Great Britain and France.
Two thirds of the movie will be taped in Macedonia, and the rest in London. The production is expected to start in August.
The financial construction of the project is finished. The producers of this movie are British screen, Polygram and Vardar Film. The budget of the movie is 1,200,000 British pounds. The director of the film is Stevan Acevski, the director of the photography is Darius Conji, and Moni Damevski is in charge of casting. Forty five actors from Macedonia will participate in “Before the Rain.” Rade Sherbedzhija and Gregoire Colin (France) are in the main roles. The actress who will play the 16 year old Albanian girl Zamira is still not known. The taping will start on 20th of September. After six weeks in Macedonia, the taping will continue in London.
Prilep, 20th September. Press conference with the team from Before The Rain, the Minister of Culture of Macedonia, Djuner Ismail, and the producers Keith Villers, Gorjan Tozija, Chedomir Kolar and Stevan Acevski. Milcho Manchevski states that this will be a big movie after which he will retire. The village of Shtavica, Mariovo: The first take of the movie. The foreigners love the region that their hosts call “halfway from nowhere.”
“The Chinese have one harsh curse – Let all your wishes come true”, states Milcho Manchevski for the Macedonian weekly paper Puls. On 6th of November in Ohrid, at the church of St. Jovan kaneo Manchevski finishes with the taping of Before the Rain in Macedonia. That day in Ohrid, a lot of sun and wind. And lot of rain, natural and artificial. The role of Zamira is given to the anonymous high school student Labina Mitevska. Before the Rain is moving to London, where the team will have three weeks for preparation and three weeks for shooting. Those who saw the taped material say that it is extraordinary visual creation. At the end of November the director of the movie is changed.
Two thirds of Before the Rain are edited. The sound copy is expected in May, and the distribution of the movie will begin at the end of the fall. The director of the movie, Milcho Manchevski for Screen International states that he created very simple characters with strong feelings.
The editing of the music for Before the Rain, of the Macedonian bend Anastasia, is finished. In the interview for the Macedonian newspaper Vecher, Manchevski states :” Byzantino-turkish games that are more Macedonian than pindjur (macedonian salad made from baked peppers) were used to stop this project, because there is a danger of crushing the provincial standards of the Macedonian cinematography.”
The first closed projection for the critics and journalists, is held in Venice, on September 4th. Ovations from the spectators. Next day, in Sala Grande, the official premiere on the Venetian film festival. The public is crying.
The Macedonian public is in state of expectation. Will the lion go to the “lion”? On September 12, Milcho Manchevski wins the Golden Lion. For the first time after 25 years, first time director wins this prestigious award. Before the rain wins nine other awards. Rade Sherbedzija wins the Best Actor award from the Italian journalists. That night, right after the winning of the award, Milcho Manchevski states for Vecher: ” I am very pleased that all that love that entered the movie, touches the people who watched it, and that it helps them to take position in their lives. The movie would have been good without all these awards. I would like to thank most to all the danchos, borkos, stoles, cvetans, because if they didn’t chase me out of Macedonia in the worst possible way ten years ago, I wouldn’t have achieved all this. Thank you.”
The first commercial premiere of Before the Rain is on October 5th, in Bitola, on the “Brothers Manaki” Film Festival. The premiere in Skopje is the next day. The movie is also shown at the Vienna Film Festival “Vienalle”. “Vienna Courier” writes:”Before the Rain” means the return of the power of the European film.” Rome will see the movie on the 27th. Milcho states: “Maybe I needed pain and suffering to wake stubbornness in me, that will provoke a good movie. Maybe the film is a reflection of the feelings of one man.”
Before the Rain sweeps over Europe. The Best Debut at the Stockholm Film Festival. The soundtrack of the movie by Anastasia hits the stores.
Milcho Manchevski and Before the Rain nominated for an Oscar in the Foreign movie category. After the 16 awards from across the Globe, Oscar is next.
The American Press writes highly about Before the Rain. Milcho Manchevski is in the center of the attention. In Macedonia, the tension is rising. Before the Rain, according to Milcho is one simple story with the simple message that people should love each other.
Although the critics favored Before the Rain, Antonia’s Line wins the Oscar.
Awards and Nominations
Academy Award Nomination 1995: Best Foreign-Language Film
Venice Film Festival 1994: Golden Lion for Best Film
Venice 1994: FIPRESCI Prize (International Critics Prize)
Venice 1994: The UNICEF Prize 1994
Venice 1994: Premio Cinemavenire (Young Viewers’ Prize)
Venice 1994: Audience Prize
Venice 1994: Rolling Venice Award from the City of Venice
Venice 1994: Leoncino d’oro, awarded by the Italian students
Venice 1994: International Catholic Organization for the Cinema
Venice 1994: Kodak Award for Best First Feature
Venice 1994: Francesco Pasineti Syndicate Award for Best Actor to Rade Serbedzija
Toronto Festival 1994: runner-up in audience vote
São Paulo Festival 1994: Audience Award for Best Film
Puerto Rico Festival 1994: Jury Award for Best Film
Puerto Rico Festival 1994: Audience Award for Best Film
Puerto Rico Festival 1994: Best Director
Puerto Rico Festival 1994: Best First Film
Stockholm Festival 1994: Best Debut Film
Mons Festival, Belgium, 1995: Charlot d’or
St Petersburg Festival of Festivals 1995: Grand Prix
Burgos Festival, Spain, 1995: winner of the single Festival Prize
Gorizia Festival of Screenplay, Italy, 1995: Best Screenplay
Film Forum, Bratislava, Slovakia, 1995: Best Film
Panteleria, Italy, 1995: UNESCO Prize
Warsaw Film Fest, 1995: Audience Award
Austria, 1995: Catholic Film Commission Prize
David di Donatello Special Award to a non-Italian film, Italy, 1995
Swedish Film Institute, 1995: Golden Bug for Best Foreign Film
Film Critics Association of Turkey 1995: Best Foreign Film
Mediterranean Prize for Peace and Tolerance
Silver Condor for Best Foreign Film, 1996, Argentina
Independent Spirit Award 1995: Best Foreign-Language Film
List of Best 1,000 Films Ever Made: The New York Times
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