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WILLOW (Врба) Alternate Edit

For our 2023 Festival, Willow, the 1st of Milcho Manchevski's trilogy, has taken the place of Teona Strugar Mitevska's The Happiest Man in the World which was cancelled due to technical difficulties. Combine Willow with KAYMAK, the 2nd in Manchevski's trilogy.

Short Synopsis of WILLOW (Врба)

Three women cope with issues of control over their bodies, tradition and adoption. They have not set out to change the world, but their struggle to become mothers makes them unlikely heroines. Three stories set in Macedonia - one medieval, two contemporary - exploring themes of love, trust and motherhood.

WILLOW (Врба)  Alternate Edit

Golden Lion-winner and Academy Award nominee Milcho Manchevski returns to his

Macedonian roots in a tale of three mothers.

A medieval couple in Macedonia cannot conceive. An old woman offers help – but only if they give her their firstborn. A year after they have a baby, she pays them a visit.

A taxi driver hits a man in the street. The ambulance and neighbors come and go. Seated alone on the curb in the rain, he waits for the police. Taken with his honesty, Rodna brings him an umbrella. Three years later they are married, but can’t conceive – until they try in-vitro. She gets pregnant with twins, but turns out one of the babies will be deformed. Knowing that he opposes abortion, she faces a tough choice.

Rodna’s sister has adopted a 5-year-old boy. He is very intelligent, but does not say a word. One day he goes missing.

Three stories, three unlikely heroines.

Screenings and Awards


EFA Feature Film Selection, European Film Academy

Sarajevo Film Festival

Sofia International Film Festival

Transylvania International Film Festival

Tirana International Film Festival

Beijing International Film Festival

Valencia International Film Festival





Cinequest (California)


Best Film, Directors’ Week, 40thFatasporto Film Festival, Portugal

Camera Festival of Independent Film, Wellington, New Zealand

Nomination, Best Film & Best Director, Raindance Festival, London

Director Information:

Milcho Manchevski

Milcho Manchevski’s acclaimed Before the Rain is considered “one of the greatest debut feature films in the history of cinema” (Annette Insdorf) and “one of the most important films of the decade” (Ann Kibbey). The New York Times included it on its list “Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made”. It won the Golden Lion in Venice, Independent Spirit, an Academy Award nomination and 30 other awards.

“Manchevski continues down his distinctive artistic path” (Hollywood Reporter) with the award-winning features Dust (which opened Venice 2001), Shadows, Mothers, Bikini Moon, the short forms The End of Time, Thursday, Macedonia Timeless, 1.73, Arrested Development’s Tennessee and an episode of HBO`s The Wire. “His work stands out in world cinema for its unique way of playing with space, time and emotion” (Keith Brown).

Roger Ebert said, “Work like this keeps me going. A reminder of the nobility that film can attain.” “His unique blend of experimentation, poetry, emotion, and a demand for the active participation of the viewer in the construction of meaning are highly praised. “(Conor McGrady). His work is part of the curricula at numerous universities and is the subject of many essays and books.

Manchevski holds an honorary doctorate from VGIK in Moscow. He is a member of the Directors Guild of America, European Film Academy and the PEN Club.

He has published books of photographs, essays and fiction; he has also taught and lectured extensively (NYU, Feirstein, EICTV, Babelsberg, London Film School, VGIK, Chicago University, etc.).



Released: 2019

Running time: 101 min

Director: Milcho Manchevski

Screenplay: Milcho Manchevski

Producers: Jane Kortoshev, Milcho Manchevski, Nik Powell (Executive Producer)

Leading roles: Sara Klimoska, Natalija Teodosieva, Kamka Tocinovski

Film trailer:

Official Film Website:

Facebook Page:


Scenes from the Film:


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