I «Eurasia» IFF, Almaty, 1998
For the first time ever, “Eurasia” film festival took place in 1998 under the auspices of Cinematographers’ Union Confederation as a form of CIS and Baltic States Film Forum. Originally, the festival was planned to be migrant and transfer from one CIS state to another annually. Three competition programs were presented at the festival – full length feature film competition, documentary and animation competition. Only the CIS and Baltic states’ films participated in competition. Film festival’s motto was – “For the United Cinema Space!”
The following world-renowned film-makers were among the guests of the first «Eurasia» IFF: Michael York, Pierre Richard, Sally Potter, Barbara Brylska, Nikita Mikhalkov, Rustam Ibragimbekov, Reggio Godfrey and many others. Prominent film experts, producers, heads of international film-organizations took part in festival programs: honorary chairman of FIPRESSI, Marseille Marten, the president of Berlin Film Forum, Ulrich Gregor, vice-president of International Organization for Copyright Protection, Jane Albreht, heads of Unions of Cinematographers across all CIS and Baltic states.
Holding of «Eurasia» IFF in 1998 was significant for unification of post-soviet film-makers for the ties between countries by that time were lost and the film makers had little chance to see each other’s films starting from late 1980s. It was no wonder that “Eurasia” discovered new film directors who emerged in the independent era – Aktan Abdykalykov from Kyrgyzstan, Larissa Sadilova from Russia, Gytis Luksas from Lithuania and others.
Over 200 journalist received accreditation including 35 from far abroad. The programme of feature films consisted of 172 feature films, documentaries and animations.
Award-winners of I «Eurasia» IFF:
Awards in Feature Films Competition:
- Best Film Grand Prix – “Beshkempir” by Kyrgyz director Aktan Abdykalykov;
- Special Jury award – “Happy Birthday”, Russia, Larissa Sadilova;
- Best Director Award – “Aksuat”, Kazakhstan, director – Serik Aprymov;
- Best Female Performance award – “Lunar Lithuania” by Gytis Luksas, actress Dalia Micheleviciute.
- Non-feature Films competition awards:
- Best Film Grand Prix – Not Awarded
- Special Jury award – «Bread Day», Russia, director Sergey Dvortsevoi;
- Special Jury award – «Business Trip», Tajikistan, director Mairam Yusupova;
- Best Director Award – «A Roadside House», by Sergey Rusakov and Sergey Azimov.
- Best Film Grand Prix – «Dragon Island», Kazakhstan, directors Gani Kistauov and Zhaken Danenov.
II «Eurasia» IFF, Almaty, 2005
In 2005 the idea of revival of “Eurasia” film festival got its second breath. The festival was held under the auspices the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, National Company “Kazakhfilm” named after Shaken Aimanov, Ministry of Culture, Information and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kazakhstan Cinematographers’ Union as an international standard event because its competition included films from Europe, Asia and post-soviet countries. The motto of the festival remained the same “For the United Cinema Space!”
Second “Eurasia” International Film festival was held in Almaty from September 26th till October 2nd, 2005. Throughout the festival week, the audience got to watch over 70 films including two retrospectives by the eastern and western directors – Kim Ki-duk and Emir Kusturica. Besides the competition, out-of-competition and retrospective films, the viewers got a chance to watch rare films shot by Kazakhstani film directors in soviet time and which were banned from screening. The festival program featured one world and two Eurasian premiers. Following guest-stars attended the festival – Katherine Deneuve, Theo Angelopoulos, Michele Placido, Ornella Mutti, Franka Potente and others.
In total, over 130 film makers from Europe, Asia, America, CIS and Baltic states participated in the festival. Three master classes were held. Master Class on acting was held by the French actress Katherine Deneuve. Theo Angelopoulos – the president of International Jury, held a master class on directing. Another two very important round table discussions were held. One of those was dedicated to the issues of national cinema development in the era of globalism. Festival had a significant after sound and was held at a good hour for non-pampered audience. Around 40 00 people attended the screenings.
Award winners at II “Eurasia” IFF:
- Festival’s Grand Prix – “The Tuner”, Ukraine/Russia, directed by Kira Muratova;
- Best Director award – «Sun», Russia, directed by Alexander Sokurov;
- Special Jury Prize – «Tbilisi-Tbilisi», Georgia, director Levan Zakareishvili, “Saratan”, Kyrgyzstan, directed by Ernest Abdyzhapparov;
- Best Male performance – “Sun”, Russia, directed by Alexander Sokurov, actor – Issei Ogata;
- Best Female Performance – “The Tuner” “The Tuner”, Ukraine/Russia, directed by Kira Muratova, Nina Ruslanova and Alla Demidova.
III «Eurasia» IFF, Almaty, 2006
In 2006, «Eurasia» IFF becomes a competent member of International Federation of Film Producer Associations (FIAPF). Along with the International Competition with participating films from Europe and Asia, a competition of Central Asian cinema took place which allowed the festival to become a genuine interlink, a kind of a cinema center for our colleagues from Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
The III «Eurasia» IFF included retrospectives of films by famous directors, representatives of the west and the east: films by a German film classic Volker Schlondorff and Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and his family members – daughter Samira Makhmalbaf and his wife Mazieh Meshkini.
Among the guests of the festival many could see the celebrities such as Steven Seagal, Daniel Olbrychski, Cary Tagawa, David Carradine, Kim Ki-duk and many others.
The festival program also included: “Cannes Days in Almaty”, VGIK Graduates’ Night as well as the retrospective of Kazakh film director Abdula Karsakbayev to honor his 90th birthday anniversary.
One of the major achievements of “Eurasia” is the Eurasian Projects Market, a one of a kind event in Central Asian region. This Projects Market provided the directors and producers with a unique opportunity – bring their projects, no matter what production stage was, to the attention of prospective investors, sponsors, distributors and selectors from international film festivals.
Award winners at III “Eurasia” IFF:
- Festival’s Grand Prix – «Eden», Germany / Switzerland, directed by Michael Hoffman;
- Best Director award – «Little Red Flowers», China, directed by Zhang Yuan;
- Special Jury Prize –«Kek», Kazakhstan, directed by Damir Manabai;
- Best Male performance -«Sway», Japan, directed by Miwa Nishikawa, actor Masato Ibu
- Best Female Performance – «Goodbye, Life», Iran, directed by Ensieh Shah-Hosseini, actress Ladan Mostofi
Central Asian Competition:
- Grand Prix – «The Trackman’s notes», Kazakhstan, directed by Zhanabek Zhetiruov;
- Best Director award – «The Road Under Sky», Uzbekistan, directed by Kamara Kamalova;
- Best Male performance – «Steppe Express», Kazakhstan, actor Tulegen Kuanshev;
- Best Female Performance – «Ovora», Tajikistan, actress Fatima Gulyamova.
IV «Eurasia» IFF, Almaty, 2007
The year 2007 saw 97 screenings in 10 theaters of Almaty in seven days during the 4th“Eurasia” film festival. Festival program included 78 films from 22 countries of the world. 9 world premiers, 14 – films shown in the territory of the CIS countries for the first time ever.
280 journalists were accredited at the festival including 30 representatives of foreign Media. The “Eurasia” reports were broadcasted on Euronews channel (France) and Kultura (Russia). 27 press conferences and two round table discussions were held with the guests and participants of the film festival. Eurasian Projects Market was of particular interest. It presented in-development films from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.
The total of 187 film professionals from 34 world countries attended the festival. Those were the producers and distributors, international film festival selectors and film critics. The Fourth «Eurasia» IFF saw the record breaking number of world celebrities – 10. Including French stars Gerard Depardieu, Sophie Marceau, Christopher Lambert, Emmanuelle Beart; the most famous Iranian actresses Leila Hatami, Fatimeh Mohammed Arri; American celebrities Gary Busey, Jacqueline Bisset,Lane Davies, Indian star Nandita Das. The most multiple delegations came from Russia – 39 people; France – 22, USA – 9; Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan – 8 people each. The smallest delegations in number but very respectable came from Argentina – Ariel Rotter, film director and the head of International Jury; Taiwan – Asian star-director Tsai Ming Liang; the Philippines – director Brilliante Mendosa, Hong Kong – famous Asian producer and distributor – Alexander Sun.
Stacking up the film festival, film critics and journalists noted the new names emerging in the Central Asian film directing, a good level of film festival’s program and participation of celebrities from both Europe and Asia.
Award winners at IV “Eurasia” IFF:
- Best Film Grand Prix – «Half Moon», Iran-France-Austria-Iraq), directed by Bahman Ghobadi;
- Best Director award – «Simple Things», Russia, directed by Aleksey Popogrebskij;
- Special Jury Prize: «Foster Child», the Philippines, directed by Brilliante Mendosa, «Shuga», Kazakhstan-France, directed by Darezhan Omirbayev;
- Best Female Performance: Binbin Fan («Lost in Beijing», China);
- Best Male performance: Leonid Bronevoi («Simple Things», Russia);
Competition of Central Asian and Turk speaking countries:
- Best Film Grand Prix – «Swift», Kazakhstan, directed by Abai Kulbai;
- «Bos Salkyn», Kyrgyzstan, directed by Ernest Abdyzhapparov;
- Best Director award – Fatih Haciosmanoglu («Stone Pillow», Turkey);
- Special Jury Prize was not awarded;
- Diploma for Best Female Performance – Dinara Kashaganova (“Kuna” by Bolat Sharip, Kazakhstan;
- NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury award— «Swift», directed by Abai Kulbai (Kazakhstan).
- Award for contribution to Cinema Art development – Nurmukhan Zhanturin (post-mortem);
- Award for the contribution to the world cinema – Jacqueline Bisset.
V «Eurasia» IFF, Astana, 2008.
That was a double anniversary year – 5th jubilee of “Eurasia” Film Festival and 10 years anniversary of the new capital city of Kazakhstan. That is why it as decided to hold the festival in Astana. “Eurasia” Festival was held with a view to introducing Kazakhstani and Central Asian cinema on the festival world map, strengthen international collaboration and cultural exchange among Eurasia’s film makers. Film festival’s motto was “The Gates to Central Asia!”.
In 2008 the competition programs were focused on our region’s cinema: Central Asian international competition of full length feature films produced in 2007-2008 and Central Asian international short film competition for films produced in 2007-2008.
A few names among the guests to the festival – Isabelle Adjani, Jeremy Irons, Richard Dreyfus, Michael Fitzgerald, Timur Bekmambetov and others.
The out of competition program of the «Eurasia» IFF showcased the best film-picks of international film festivals – the award winning films in Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Tokyo, Busan. The two dynamically growing cinemas of the east and west were presented in the programs “Films from South Korea” and “Films from the USA”. During the film festival two soirees were held – first dedicated to the 80th anniversary of actor Nurmukhan Zhanturin and the second soiree in memory of Chingiz Aitmatov.
Throughout the 5th «Eurasia» IFF a “Special Event” program showcased the gala premier of the national “Mustafa Chokai” film, and another program was dedicated to the films of the classics of Kazakh new wave. “Tulpan” by S. Dortsevoi was shown at the Opening ceremony. The total of 70 films was shown in 7 festival programs of the «Eurasia» IFF.
Award winners of V «Eurasia» IFF:
- Best Film Grand Prix – «Farewell, Gulsary!», Kazakhstan, directed by Ardak Amirkulov;
- Best Short Film Grand Prix – «113th!», Kazakhstan, directed by Talgat Bektursinov;
- Best Director award– «Together with Father», Kazakhstan, directed by Damiyar Salamat;
- Best Director award (Short film)– «Bakhytzhamal», Kazakhstan, directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov;
- Best Male performance – Diyas Rakhmatov for “Little People” by Hattam Faiziyev, Uzbekistan and Bakhytzhan Alpeisov for “Together with Father” by Damiyar Salamat (Kazakhstan);
- Best Female Performance – Irina Ageikina, for «The Song of the Southern Seas», directed by Marat Sarulu (Kazakhstan-France-Russia);
- Special Feature Film Jury Award– «Unknown Route» directed by Temir Birnazarov (Kyrgyzstan);
- Special Short Film Jury Award – «Bridge» directed by Tina Ibragimov (Kyrgyzstan) and «Debt», directed by Temir Birnazarov (Kyrgyzstan);
- An Outstanding Contribution to World Cinema Art development award went to Bolotbek Zhamshiev, film director, Kyrgyzstan and Michael Fitzgerald, film producer, USA;
- FIPRESSI award went to film director Damiyar Salamat fro his “Together With Father”.
VIII IFF «Eurasia», Almaty, 2021
The eighth international film festival «Eurasia» took place in Almaty from 17 to 22 September, 2021. This year the festival will continue to work in a format of the international competition, presenting the movies CIS, European and Asian countries. It is remarkable that in the competition program was presented the South Korean film «POONG-SAN-GAE», the scenario was written by the jury chairman of the seventh film festival «Eurasia» Kim Ki Duk.
The festival jury this year were headed by the veteran of the European and Hollywood cinema Wolfgang Petersen, the author of such pictures, as «Troy», «Das Boot», «Poseidon». Also the the members of the jury were the winner of the «Oscar» award director Danis Tanovich, the Philippine director Loy Arkenas, the Georgian cinematographer George Ovashvili and Kazakh Amir Karakulov, his film «Virtual Love» was shown at the opening ceremony of the festival.
Apart of the competition program has took place eight out-of-competition programs. Also during the festival the presentation of one of the most prestigious film awards of the world «Golden Globe» was made.
For the first time in the history of a film festival «Eurasia» the jury didn’t settle mind, and the Grand Prix wasn’t awarded to any of the competition pictures.
Prize-winners of the VIII IFF «Eurasia
- The Eurasia festival Grand Prix — wasn’t awarded
- The prize for the best director — «The future lasts forever» Uchkun Alper (Turkey)and the director of the movie «Elles» Malgorzata Szumovska (France — Poland).
- Prize for Best Actor — Azamat Nigmanov, «Convoy» (Russia), director Alexey Mizgirev.
- Prize for Best Actress — Anais Demoustier, «Elles», director Malgorzhata Szumovska.
- Prize of FIPRESCI jury — «Convoy» (Russia), director Alexey Mizgirev.
- Prize of NETPAC jury — «Student» (Kazakhstan), director Darezhan Omirbayev.
- Dennis Haysbert, USA
- Vincent Pérez, France
- Li Yung Kwan, South Korea
- Nonna Grishayeva, Russia
- Denis Nikiforov, Russia
- Andrey Rudensky, Russia
- Darya Poverennova, Russia
- Daniil Belykh, Russia
- Alisa Grebenshikova, Russia