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The Secret Ingredient

DirectorGjorce Stavreski
ProducerGjorce Stavreski – Fragment Film; Konstantina Stavrianou, Irini Vougioukalou – Graal S.A.
CastBlagoj Veselinov, Anastas Tanovski, Aksel Mehmet, Aleksandar Mikic, Miroslav Petkovic, Dime Iliev, Simona Dimkovska
WriterGjorce Stavreski
EditorMartin Ivanov
CameraDejan Dimeski
MusicBranislav Nikolov, Pece Trajkovski, Goce Jovanoski
Original TitleISCELITEL
Length102 min
ScreeningFriday 9 November | 21:45 hours | Filmhuis Den Haag

‘’Tragicomic gem that could well end up charming its way into niche distribution beyond the festival circuit.’’ – The Hollywood Reporter. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the director Gjorce Stavreski.


Social distress, economic hardship, attempted suicide, family tragedy, illegal drugs, violent thugs and late-stage, metastasized lung cancer are the ingredients of this intriguing debut film about good intentions going really bad. The story follows Vele, an underpaid train mechanic who uses stolen marijuana to make a cake for his father to relieve his cancer pain. Suddenly, he finds himself cornered by the criminals who want their drugs back and the nosy neighbours who want the recipe for the “healing cake”. Expecting the worst, all of sudden an actual miracle occurs… A fantastic black comedy that won the Audience Award at the Thessaloniki FF and several jury prizes at prestigious film festivals worldwide. Macedonia’s submission for the Oscars.

Festivals & Awards (selection)

LET’S CEE Film Festival, 2018 – Best Debut Film | Sofia International Film Festival, 2018 – Special Mention | Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2018 – Best International Feature | Aubagne International Film Festival, 2018 – Best Feature Film | Bergamo Film Meeting, 2018 – Best Film | Tromsø International Film Festival 2018 | Thessaloniki Film Festival, 2017 – Audience Award | Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2017

Director’s bio

Gjorce Stavreski graduated from the department of film direction at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts in Skopje. He is an awarded film and video professional who has made films, documentaries and over 100 commercials, working as director, producer and screenwriter. His films were shown on many festivals throughout the world where he has won international awards. He was a math prodigy as a kid and is a recipient of a prestigious national award “13th of November” for math and sciences.