Skopje, 13 January 2020 (MIA) – Macedonian filmmaking duo Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska’s Honeyland received two nominations from the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: for best documentary feature and best international feature.
“This masterpiece of a documentary,” the North Macedonia Film Agency wrote in a press release, “has already won countless awards and recognitions, and its main protagonist, the beekeeper Atidzhe, has become a symbol for raising awareness about the environment, ethics and humanity.”
According to the Honeyland team’s official Facebook page, the documentary “inspires genuine empathy, which you cannot forget after seeing the movie.”
“We’re glad that the international critics and Academy members recognized the planet’s cry echoing between the film’s frames,” the team writes. “They discovered the greatness of humans through the greatness of one person. [Honeyland] shook [some people’s] beliefs that joy is in possessions.”
Though the Oscar nominations may be a great accomplishment, the team notes, “the change we are looking forward to should be even greater.”
“This change starts with each of us, individually,” they say.
Also nominated for best documentary are American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, and For Sama.
Corpus Christi (Poland), Les Misérables (France), Pain and Glory (Spain), and Parasite (South Korea) are the other contenders for this year’s international feature Academy Award.
Honeyland has won multiple international prizes, including two IDA Documentary Awards—the world’s most significant recognition for best nonfiction films—for best cinematography, and IDA’s Pare Lorentz Award, which recognizes filmmakers who focus on the environment and social justice.
According to Stefanov, one of the film’s directors, Honeyland is not simply a story of bees and honey but also the world’s environmental problems that need to be addressed.
“The problem our film addresses,” Stefanov told Voice of America, “is the exploitation of natural resources.”
Honeyland is the first Macedonian movie to have been nominated for two Oscars.
Until today, Milcho Manchevski’s Before the Rain was the country’s only Oscar-nominated feature, making the list of best foreign-language film nominees in 1995.
Previously, during former Yugoslavia, Macedonian filmmaker Stole Popov’s documentary DAE [Mother] was honored with a nomination in 1979.
The Academy Awards will air on Feb. 10, 2020, at 2:00 am CET. mr/