Over the course of the past two months, UMD hosted screenings and premieres of the controversial Macedonian film “Mocking of Christ” directed by Jani Bojadzi in ten different cities: Birmingham, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Columbus, Ohio; Hawthorne, New Jersey; Los Angeles, California; New York City, New York; Rochester, New York; Toronto, Ontario; and Washington, D.C. This was the first-time since 2010 that UMD has organized a full North American tour of a Macedonian film – last was “A Name is A Name.”
Prior to Canada and the U.S., “Mocking of Christ” enjoyed a successful tour in Australia, and New Zealand, and next moves on to Germany and Switzerland.
The reception in Canada and the U.S. of “Mocking of Christ” was fantastic, with audiences of over 1,000 people at the screenings in total, many with compelling questions for Jani Bojadzi at the eight screenings he was able to attend. Despite the Macedonian government impeding the showings of the film in Macedonia, the Diaspora communities value freedom of speech and freedom for artists to express themselves without fear of retribution.
“Mocking of Christ” is a movie about people who are searching for their identity and the fear from what they can discover from it. It tells a compelling story of a man searching for a father he never met, and a woman, a photojournalist, who follows him in his search, fascinated by his story. The film highlights the tragic history of Macedonia and how it still affects the Macedonians to this day. While the film also emphasizes the struggle for many to rediscover their roots, it also beautifully showcases the importance of Macedonian culture and preservation of its rich landscape.
We want to thank all who came out to the screenings and supported UMD’s efforts to promote cultural preservation. The film served as a unifying force in all communities it was shown. Without all of your support, UMD would not have been able to have all these amazing screenings, and we would not have been able to bring Jani Bojadzi from Macedonia to personally answer your questions surrounding the film. We want to sincerely thank you for your contributions, and for coming out to see the “Mocking of Christ” film. We extend a HUGE thank you to Jani Bojadzi for allowing UMD to promote his movie, for coming along to the screenings, and taking the wonderful questions from the audiences.
Special thanks to our sponsors, donors, and volunteers:
Premiere Donors: George Peters, Deana Janceski, Mende Bezanovski, Alek Vasilevski, and Chris Evanoff.
Director’s Friend Sponsor: Aleksandar and Vesna Andreski and Alamo Truck Repair, Premiere Donors: Sophie Evanoff – Vanille Patisserie, Elizabeta Bogdanovska, and Zoran Milenkov
Volunteers: Blagica Georgievska, Francesca Metlov, Stojan Novakov, Alexander Polinsky, and Daki Stanojkova.
Premiere Donor: Woolino – Nikola and Mirjana Dzodzo, and Macedonian Businessman’s Club
Volunteers: Marija Georgievski, UMD Cleveland Chair Konstantin Nakovski
Co-Partner: Saint Mary’s Macedonian Orthodox Church
Volunteers: Milka Trajkova, and Jovan Galevski
UMD NJ Chair Zaklina Zulumovska
Premiere Donors: Dalibor Boskovski and Cane/Sneza Carovski
Volunteers: Marija Malinovska, Dimitar Nasev, Natasha Carovska, Svetlana Carovska, and Aleksandar Cvetanovski
Meze Sponsors: Marija/Svetlana
New York City
UMD NYC Chair Vera Arsova, Tony Naumovski – Rotino, and Petar Petrovski
Premiere Donor: Diana Ioannidis
Volunteers: Nada Cickovska and Tina Durmisovski
Co-Partner: Macedonian Film Festival
Premiere Donor: Goran Iliev
Volunteers and Meze Sponsors: Connie Arnone, Emilija Dimitrievski, Kristina Dimitrievski, Maja Dimitrievski, Virginia Evans, Elizabeta Krstevska, Ekaterina Matakova Celeska, Elizabeth Naumovski, Chris Ouslis, and Jana Savevska
Premiere Donor: Andrijan Jovanovski
Volunteers: Ljupka Arsova, Rhiannon Bormann-Salazar, Monica Markovski Commerford, Kristina Dimitrievski, Filip Jotevski, Gordana Mirkoska, Gianna Paniagua, Katerina Trajkova, and David Turkaleski