The Macedonian Tendency: Steven Speilberg and Macedonia: A Winning Combination

Friday, April 18, 2008

Steven Speilberg and Macedonia: A Winning Combination

Hollywood Film on Wartime 'Macedonia' Soccer Team -
18 April 2008 Skopje

Branko Lustig, the famous Oscar-winning producer has joined ranks with Macedonian movie director Darko Mitrevski to shoot the film “The Third Halftime.”

“The Third Halftime” is the story of Ilejs Spic, the Jewish coach of the Skopje soccer team, “Macedonia” which during the Second World War, under his leadership became the champion of the fascist soccer league.

The movie will be produced by the Hollywood production company King Roads Entertainment. The owner of the company, the famous director, Steven Spielberg will also be involved in the team that visits Macedonia soon, in search of shooting locations.

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg

“This is a story about soccer that under the specific historical circumstances has become more than a game. It has become a battleground between good and evil,” Mitreski says.

The director who also wrote the script promises spectacular historical soccer matches from the 1930 and 1940s but says the movie will also reveal how Macedonia lived under fascist occupation and the sufferings of Macedonia's Jews at the time.

Nearly all of Macedonia Jews perished in notorious Nazi death camps during the Second World War. Read more at

“One of my favourite scenes from the movie is when 10,000 spectators at the then Skopje stadium shout the name of the team “Macedonia”. A boy climbs on a tree who conveys the events to those who are outside the stadium and says 'they are shouting the name of our team.' 'That is not just the name of our team, that's the name of our country!' one man says to himself,” Mitrevski told local Dnevnik daily.

Lustig won two Academy awards, the first in 1993 for the production of Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler's List” and the second in 2001 for the epic movie “Gladiator” by Ridley Scott.

The movie will have cast with Hollywood actors but the director says there will be Macedonian actors involved too.

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