"It all started during a Covid lockdown. Angst was in the air, yet the entire family was happy to be together in our family's country house outside Skopje until the day our uncle died and I, we were all surrounded by death and fear was our guide. What if this is it and there might not be tomorrow, am I ready to accept my own fragility, would I die alone, could I leave the world as it is, do I dare go to the other side-if there is another side… all these dilemmas huddled my head and with it I experienced the necessity to withdraw within myself and return to some primal, raw state of being. I needed to do something. I wanted to peel off layers of suppressed emotions. I needed to work. My concept was simple: I will count 21 days forward, equaling 21 daily reflections on my life. In the process, I wrote, filmed, and edited my most personal work." [Teona Strugar Mitevska]
Teona Strugar Mitevska started as a child actor, trained as a painter and a graphic designer, and later studied at the M.F.A program in film at the Tisch School of Arts, New York University. She debuted as a short film director in 2001 with Veta (Special Jury Prize at Berlin Film Festival). She followed with How I Killed a Saint, which premiered at the Rotterdam Film Festival 2004. The film was the first feature made under the Sisters and Brother Mitevski production company. I am From Titov Veles premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival (Discovery Section) and was later shown at Berlin Film Festival 2008 (Panorama) and the Cannes Film Festival (ACID Program). Her third feature, The Woman Who Brushed Off Her Tears, premiered in the 2012 Berlin Film (Panorama Special). Two years later, in 2014, she shot and edited Teresa and I, a feature documentary on Mother Teresa, told from a contemporary feminist perspective. In 2016, her fourth feature, When The Day Had No Name, premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival (Panorama Special). Her most successful film to date, God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya, premiered in competition at Berlin Film Festival 2019, where it received the prestigious Ecumenical Prize and the German Guild Film Prize. Since its founding, Sisters and Brother Mitevski have co-produced four feature films: The Wild Pear Tree by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Nightlife and Half-sister by Damjan Kozole, and Sieranevada by Christi Puiu. Her sixth feature film, The Happiest Man in the World, premiered at the 2022 Venice Film Festival and the 2022 Toronto Film Festival. In 2023 she made Makedonium, an experimental medium-length film, in collaboration with contemporary artists: Hristina Ivanoska and Yane Calovski. She is currently in pre-production of Mother, winner of the script development award at the Arras film festival, a film to be shot in the summer of 2024.