In celebration of Skopje Liberation Day, Nov. 13, the first Macedonian production company, Vardar Film, will present its latest documentary project, titled Skopje Secret Archives, at a special screening at the Cinematheque.
Vardar Film’s project aims to preserve and honor the material, spiritual and cultural heritage of the city of Skopje by archiving and digitizing old film (8-millimeter and super 8-millimeter) tapes belonging to the city’s amateur filmmakers. The footage to be shown later this evening was digitized in the Cinematheque.
Because 8-mm film projectors are a thing of the past and “can only be found in museums today,” according to organizers, “hardly anyone can screen this format now, so these recordings of our past, historical yet intimate and familiar, will be lost forever.”
“They will be forgotten,” organizers write in their press release. “That’s why they should be digitized, restored and remastered into digital so they can be accessed by new generations through new technologies.”
The project started after Vardar Film had an open call for 8-mm tapes, which were then digitized and transformed into the film collage that will be shown tonight.
The footage, however, hasn’t been edited, as the production company wanted to present the films as they had been originally conceived by their own creators and protagonists decades ago, organizers add.
Skopje Secret Archives was coordinated by Katerina Gabunija. Aleksandar Trajkovski digitized the film tapes. Sashko Poter Micevski is the sound editor and Darko Ristevski narrated the story.
Organizers point out that the film collage tells “an emotional film story about the city and its people, told over four seasons through movies made by ordinary citizens.”