Willow, Macedonian filmmaker Milcho Manchevski’s sixth feature film, premiered during the third evening of the 14th Rome Film Fest, according to the Ministry of Culture’s press release.

The film cast and crew took to the red carpet, the release reads, and Minister of Culture Husni Ismaili also attended the premiere.

Thirty-three films made it onto the festival’s official selection list this year. Willow is the first entry from North Macedonia to have been included, thanks to the festival’s artistic director Antonio Monda.

Monda described Manchevski’s film as “beautiful,” and added that this year’s Rome Film Fest was dedicated to women, elegant and tough, according to the release.

The festival opened with a screening of Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn (2019).

Manchevski’s Willow is a co-production between Macedonia, Hungary, Belgium, and Albania.

It was filmed over two months—October and November—of 2018 in Mariovo, Prespa, Treskavec, and Skopje.

“Willow is a film about loyalty, love, trust, and motherhood, connecting the stories of three young mothers. One takes place in the 17th century, and the other two are contemporary. The stories complement each other while simultaneously contrasting one another.

“These are love stories based on loyalty as much as on the relation of society towards the individual and the individual towards society.

“This time we’ll have a happy ending,” Manchevski said at a recent press conference held ahead of the film’s world premiere.

Milcho Manchevski wrote and directed the film.

The cast features Sara Klimoska, Natalija Teodosieva, and Kamka Tocinoski, supported by Nikola Risteski, Petar Mirchevski, Nenad Nacev, Blagoj Chorevski, Ratka Radmanovikj, Ana Kostovska, Laze Manaskovski, Katina Ivanova, Kire Gjorevski, Adem Karaga, and Jelena Jovanova-Perikj.

Willow‘s director of photography is Tamás Dobos, and the production designer is David Munns.

Milka Anchevska is the casting director, and Györgui Szakács and Zzaklina Krstevska designed the costumes.

This year’s Rome Film Fest will run Oct. 17 through 27.

Photo credit: Gjorgji Klincarov