Manaki, Milton (1882-1964), the first film recorder on the Balkans, Macedonian author and author of documentary films. He was a pioneer of the recording activity in Macedonia.
He finished his primary school in his native city and then he enrolled in the first class of the Romanian high-school in Jani-na, but he did not make any efforts to finish it and left it, remaining with unfinished second class. Then he was sent to Gravena to study craft, but Milton did not show any interest towards any craft. In 1898 his brother took him to Janina in his studio, where Milton started to study photographic skills and with tireless labour, he became a master for incredibly short time. In 1905 he had already recorded the documentaries, which entered the film history: "Spinners" and "School class in open". In the first of them, his 114 years old grandmother Despina was recorded eternally, where she together with a group of spinners made bases for knitting. Immediately after that he advanced his skill in photography art, which brought him international recognitions. Among the significant ones is the participation at the Big International exhibition in Bucharest in 1906 where he gained gold medal and the title Court photographer of the Romanian king Carol I. He recorded many photographs connected to actual events, historical personalities, customs and that is why his collection has huge value and distinguished place in Balkan cinematography and represents precious part of this world film inheritance. Meanwhile the fund of film evidence was enriched with large number of attractive views of fairs, holidays, weddings and other religious rituals. The film records in the period of Young Turkish Revolution have historical importance. These dramatic fragments are connected to the pictures of the repressions of the Ottoman authorities, made upon the Macedonian population . In the films: "Rashid V in Solun and in Bitola" (1911) and "Aleksandar Karagorgevik in Bitola"(1913)" he represents himself as an expert of the genre structure of reportage. The pages of the reportage are essential for the modern documentary film. The scenes of the rich meetings of the diplomatic corps in Bitola are very attractive by its content and iconographic value, as well as the records of the execution of Macedonian rebels and patriots.Other more important works in his opus, which represents 1.500m film tape, is the bombing of Bitola 1940, the withdrawal of the occupational units from Bitola (1944), he registered the coming of the president of SFRY, the commrade Josip Bros Tito at his first visit of the city (1957) etc. The National Technique of Macedonia awarded him with memory dilpoma. There are many annegdotes connected to his living in Bitola, because beside recording, he was joyful, pleasant, talkative, skilled in narrating anegdotes and scenes of his tumultuos life, generally about Bitola.Milton Manaki could see forward and he could feel the historical moment and the historicial need to preserve precious documents for the life of our city and our country in the most fateful days of his national history.
DISTINGUISHED PEOPLE FOR BITOLA
authors: Lence Andonovska, Naume Gorgievski, Blagoj Nikolov, Trajko Ognenovski, Gordana Pesevska, Aneta Stefanovska, Svetlana Taleska ; translation in english Vesna Milevska.
NIUL "St. Clement Ohridski": Municipality of Bitola