Lake of Apples

"Canadian Premiere"

  • Genre: Documentary

  • Release Year: 2017

  • Duration: 30 min

  • Directed by: Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska

Lake of Apples


Filmed over the course of one year, this documentary follows the changing fortunes of beautiful Lake Prespa – one of the oldest freshwater lakes on Earth, providing a habitat for over 2,000 species of plants and animals, many of them unique to this ancient ecosystem.

An elderly fisherman rows out across the lake to check on his fishing nets. It’s the same trip he’s made every morning for most of his life. But other things have changed. The famous pelicans and cormorants are not staying here in the same numbers any more. And the fisherman’s nets now only catch algae. The future for the lake and all the lives that depend on it are highly uncertain.

Zoran and Frosina, two scientists, set out to investigate the causes of the problem, meticulously sampling and analysing the water. As they put the pieces of the puzzle together, they uncover some of the deepest secrets of the lake and reveal some uncomfortable truths about the human causes of the pollution that has been destroying the lake.

With this discovery comes hope, however, as a major effort is now underway to address the problem.

With funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has helped reverse pollution in Lake Prespa. “It took 15 years and 15 million USD but finally, after decades of deterioration, the state of Lake Prespa is improving” said Louisa Vinton, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Skopje, Louisa Vinton.

Introduction at Premiere:

Awards and Screenings:

This film was the winner at festivals around the world including Prix de l'Environnement, Festival International Nature, Namur Belgium, Best Screenplay and Best Ecology Film, Silafest, Serbia, Best Short Film, Albania Environmental Film Festival, and Perseus Award, T Film Festival, Brno, Czech Republic. It has been screened at at many environmental festivals around the world including in Geneva, Switzerland for World Water Day and in New York during the United Nations General Assembly Week.

Winner, Prix de l'Environnement, Festival International Nature, Namur Belgium

Winner, Best Screenplay and Best Ecology Film, Silafest, Veliko Gradiste, Serbia

Winner, Best Short Film, Albania Environmental Film Festival

Winner, Best Ecology Film, Green Montenegro International Film Fest

Winner, Perseus Award, T Film Festival, Brno, Czech Republic

Honourable Mention, Best Environmental Film category, Innsbruck Nature Film Festival

List of Screenings:

Mountainfilm International Festival, Graz, Austria

The Science Film Festival (Goethe Institute): screenings in Myanmar, The Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, India.

Columbia University, New York: screening on the occasion of United Nations General Assembly Week

Matsalu Nature Film Festival, Matsalu, Estonia

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands/UNDP, Geneva, Switzerland for World Water Day 2017)

Director Information:

Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska


Ljubo Stefanov was born 1975 in Skopje. He has over 20 years of experience in development and realization of communication concepts (promotional, public awareness campaigns) and production of documentaries and videos generally devoted to projects related to environmental issues and human development. He has worked for clients such UN agencies, Euronatur, and Swisscontact. Previous films include ‘The Noisy Neighbours’ (2006) and ‘Balkan Lynx - Big Cat Standing Little Chance’ (2014). Upcoming work, again in partnership with Tamara Kotevska, is ‘Honeyland’, already a prizewinner in pre-production and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The film is now in post-production.

Tamara Kotevska was born in 1993, in Prilep, Macedonia. As writer and director and while still a student, she won the Best Balkan Film international film award in the official competition of the Tirana International Documentary Film Festival with her graduation project, the documentary ‘Studants’ (49 minutes), supported by Filmtrick and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts- Skopje. ‘Lake of Apples’, for which she was writer and co-producer in collaboration with Ljubo Stefanov, is her first professional work. Working again with Ljubo Stefanov, her upcoming film, ‘Honeyland’, has already gained extensive pre-production recognition, including Best Work in Progress, Sarajevo Film Festival.