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Member of the jury 2017

Darko Basheski (Macedonia)

I was born in Prilep, a small town in Macedonia. Looking back in my life, I realize that cinema was my destiny. I do not know exactly when my big love with cinema started, but I know that I started escaping from classes when I was 6 in elementary school. Later, whenever I was not in class, the professors always asked my classmates what film is running in cinema.

During high school I made my first short film within Cine club “Prilep” in my city.  That was the period when we were our own directors, cinematographers and editors, developing our “super 8” reversal films in our small lab in the Cine club, cutting and splicing the film, manually rolling the film reel to make the final cut. I am proud that this Cine club is one of three, still active in our country.

In former Yugoslavia that period was the best for cinema clubs, with many festivals full of young people who love films. Every summer there were organized summer cinema schools, ten day workshops for kids as a way to recruit new generations for development of amateur cinema in Macedonia.

After high school, I started studying in Electro-technical Faculty in Zagreb, Croatia and very soon I discovered one much more interesting place, the Film Academy. Even though I tried, it was impossible to study at the Film Academy in Zagreb because the process of separation of former Yugoslavia had started and after a very brutal war Yugoslavia was separated into 6 Republics.  At the end I graduated Film School in Skopje, Macedonia at the department for Cinematographers. I keep close connection with amateur film, even my graduation film was made the way I created amateur film in high school, having been cinematographer, director and production manager of that film. 

After film school I kept working on films, advertising and commercial projects, working in National public TV and private companies until 2004 when I produced my first short animation film and I established my company.

In June 2008 I become Macedonian representative in the board of management of EURIMAGES (European film fund) and six months later CEO of Macedonian Film Fund. Being a head of a film fund responsible for financing professional films, I did not forget amateur films. We kept supporting activities and festivals for amateur films and some of the most engaged amateur film makers received financial support for production.  I kept my connection with amateur film making, being present both amateur film festivals every year and following the works of all generations of amateur film makers.

At the end of 2015 I left my public work in film fund moving back to my company and film production.

In 2016 I was engaged to be executive director of GIFFONI Macedonia Youth film festival which is a branch of Italian festival GIFFONI EXPERIENCE, the biggest film festival for kids and youth. Within our festival I am trying to share my passion for films and to motivate young people with many workshops for making films, animations, storyboard and comics drawing or acting to try the taste of amateur film making. Our festival is dedicated to development of young audience, making the films closer to young people to be able to discover secrets of cinema and for some of them even their future career.