North Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Kosovo


From acclaimed filmmaker Goran Stolevski comes a story exploring the universal truths of family, both the ones we’re born into and the ones we find for ourselves. Dita never wanted to be a mother, but circumstances force her to raise her girlfriend’s two daughters, tiny troublemaker Mia and rebellious teen Vanesa. A battle of wills ensues as the three continue to butt heads and become an unlikely family that has to fight to stay together.

Director's Statement

I've always been drawn to moments that feel ‘found’ or ‘discovered’ as opposed to ‘staged’. A lot of my filmmaking background has from necessity been built around shoestring budgets and skeleton crews. I’ve embraced this reality, developing a ‘verité’ style which has now become an important element of my
work. I am a big believer in working with what’s there, rather than against it – assessing the means at my disposal and shaping the most exciting imaginable story around them.

My approach with HOUSEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS - as with YOU WON’T BE ALONE, OF AN AGE, and my many shorts - was to create an environment on set that feels real and almost independent of the story we are telling. This involved often shooting in real locations, usually without marks and without traditional rehearsals, encouraging improv and personal connection among the actors, and taking care to create a safe
and emotionally nurturing environment both on- and off-screen so that creativity can flourish. All through the shoot as well as the edit, my team and I remained open to ideas, suggestions, and changing
circumstances in order to find the most impactful way to capture and flesh out our characters' feelings and bring their world to life. Shaping stories in this way helped to free up our actors and led to an entire
ensemble's worth of captivating, natural performances.

In choosing a ‘verité’ style, with overlapping dialogue, hand-held camerawork, naturalistic lighting, tight yet purposely 'messy' framing, and shallow depth of field, the purpose was always for the viewer to
experience the story as the characters experiencing it. For the viewer to viscerally feel the panic and intensity of their plight, to get a sense of what life is like in their skin and to ultimately take part in their emotional journey.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Goran Stolevski

Written by: Goran Stolevski

Produced by: Marija Dimitrova, Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowska, Ankica Juric Tilic, Beata Rzezniczek, Milan Stojanovic, Blerta Basholli

Cinematography: Naum Doksevski

Editing: Goran Stolevski

Production Design: Anna Rzezniczek

Costume Design: Roza Trajceska Ristovska, Alen Sinkauz

Make-Up & Hair: Goran Igjnjatovski, Leonora Mehmeti

Original Score: Alen Sinkauz, Nenad Sinkauz

Sound: Emma Bortignon, Zoran Maksimovic

Visual Effects: Sean Wheelan, Anna Hägglin, Filip Kruse

Casting: Katerina Grubac, Milka Ancevska

Cast: Anamaria Marinca (Dita), Alina Serban (Suada), Samson Selim (Ali), Mia Mustafi (Vanesa), Vladimir Tintor (Toni)

Nominations and Awards

  • European University Film Award 2023
  • Feature Film Selection 2023