Articles

Teona Mitevska’s film at the Berlinale’s official competition

Alexia Muiños Ruiz
Alexia Muiños Ruiz

Gospod postoi, imeto i’ e Petrunija (God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya) at the Berlinale

‘Tell them you’re 24’, advises Petrunya’s mother as her daughter heads off to another interview. But Petrunya is 31; moreover, she has studied history, a subject that no one in Macedonia seems to need. So there she sits in front of her potential employer, a factory owner, who looks down on her floral dress and refuses to take her seriously. On her way home – naturally, she did not get the job – Petrunya decides to take the plunge. It is Epiphany and, like every year, the young men of the city are diving for the holy cross that the priest has thrown into the icy river. This time, Petrunya is quicker than everyone else and ends up holding the trophy aloft for the TV cameras. For one whole day and one night, she will defend the cross, accompanied by much public commotion and against the closed ranks of the male world.

Teona Strugar Mitevska (EWA member) delivers an angry yet melancholic satire that questions the status of democratic change in Macedonian society and passes scathing judgement on representatives of the church, the judiciary and the media. The film’s sympathies are all with the determined woman who asserts herself against archaic traditions and paralysing opportunism.

Produced by Sisters and Brother Mitevski
Skopje, Macedonia +389 77690688

World sales: Pyramide International

Teona Strugar Mitevska
Born in 1974 in an artistic family in Skopje, Macedonia. She started as a child actor, trained as a painter and a graphic designer and later studied at M.F.A program in film at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University.

She made her debut as short film director in 2001 with VETA, and has been making films ever since: HOW I KILLED A SAINT, 2004; I AM FROM TITOV VELES, 2007; THE WOMAN WHO BRUSHED OFF HER TEARS, 2012; TERESA AND I, 2013; WHEN THE DAY HAD NO NAME, 2017. GOD EXISTS, HER NAME IS PETRUNIJA shot in January 2018, will be premiered in competition in Berlin Film Festival 2019.

Since its founding, SISTERS AND BROTHER MITEVSKI, have co-produced THE WILD PEAR TREE by Nuri Bilge Ceylan; NIGHTLIFE by Damjan Kozole and SIERRANEVADA by Christi Puiu.

In 2018, France’s Ministry of Culture awarded her the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Teona Strugar Mitevska lives in Brussels, Belgium with her son Kaeliok

FILMOGRAPHY

1999 Why is Betty Boop Angry; short film

2000 Amer in Amerika; short film

2001 Veta; short film

2004 How I Killed a Saint

2008 Jas sum od Titov Veles (I Am from Titov Veles)

2012 Alerik · The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears

2017 When the Day Had no Name

2019 Gospod postoi, imeto i’ e Petrunija (God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya)