Part of SFFILM Festival
San Francisco, CA 94103 United States
Directors Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov are expected to attend all screenings.
The surprise hit at Sundance, where it won three awards, including the World Cinema Documentary Grand Prize, Honeyland is a visually stunning human portrait that has something sweet for everyone. Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making a living cultivating honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude, becomes a source of tension when they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice.
“The opening frames of Honeyland are so rustically sumptuous that you wonder, for a second, if they’ve somehow been art-directed. Elegantly dressed in a vivid ochre blouse and emerald headscarf, captured in long shot as she nimbly wends her way through a craggy but spectacular Balkan landscape, careworn middle-aged beekeeper Hatidze Muratova heads to check on her remote, hidden colony of bees — delicately extracting a dripping wedge of honeycomb the exact saturated shade as her outfit. With man and nature so exquisitely coordinated, it’s as if Hatidze herself has grown from the same rocky land, and in a sense, she has.” – Guy Lodge, Variety
“The documentary Honeyland contains worlds in one beautiful, seemingly simple story. Its focus, Hatidze Muratova, lives in a tiny stone house in remote northern Macedonia with her octogenarian mother, a plucky dog, and an irregular number of cats. Her passion and apparent livelihood, though, are the wild bees she tends — keeping is too possessive — with hand flaps, vocalizations, and deep respect. The directors Ljubomir Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska don’t overexplain this world, its history or seemingly fragile present, including the origin of the chaotic, sprawling family who soon moves in and begins taking over the bees. The family’s at times infuriating disruptions (animal lovers beware) turn this quiet, moving observational documentary into a heart-skipping thriller as well as a perfect encapsulation of humanity’s catastrophic domination of nature.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
With support from
Leslie Berriman & Nion McEvoy
A native of Prilep, Macedonia, Tamara Kotevska received a degree in film directing from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje, Macedonia. Before making her feature debut, Honeyland, she co-directed a short film, Games (2014), and wrote and directed another short, Free Hugs (2015).
Ljubomir Stefanov is a native of Skopje, Macedonia. For clients including EuroNatur, Swisscontact, and the United Nations Development Programme, he has developed and produced documentaries and communication concepts focused on environmental issues and human development. Honeyland is his directing debut.
Language Turkish, Bosnian, Macedonian
Director Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Producer Atanas Georgiev
Editor Atanas Georgiev
Cinematographer Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma
Original Language Title Медена Земја