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VIII “Eurasia” IFF program review

149 full-length feature films from 33 countries of the world were applied for the competition program of «Eurasia» IFF this year.

At present, the festival commission, consisting of directors Damir Manabay and Nariman Turebayev, the scenarist Gaziza Nasyrova and the film expert Gulnara Abikeyeva, are completing selection of films for the International competition. 12 films from Europe, Asia, CIS countries and Central Asia will enter the International competition. The German filmmaker, producer, scenarist and actor Wolfgang Petersen, who created such movies as «Troy», «Perfect storm», «Poseidon» and «Boot» which got 6 nominations for «Oscar», will chair a jury board of Eurasia-2021.

The list of the competition program films will be finally published on eurasiaiff.kz on August 15. For the moment we can say that the level of the competition program is extremely high. Among the European films, the film-participant of this year competition program in Cannes «The Hunt» directed by Thomas Vinterberg — a founder of «Dogme», and also the Polish-French film «Elles (Revelation)» with Juliette Binoche starring, will take part in «Eurasia» IFF competition program.

Among the Asian films the attention of the audience will be aimed on South Korean film «Busan Hound» directed by Jun Jeihon and produced by Kim Ki-duk — the Film maker who chaired the jury of «Eurasia» IFF last year.

«Convoy» by Aleksei Mizgirev is one of the Russian films that will be shown at the Festival, with Azamat Nigmanov starring — our Kazakh man, the actor of Moscow Comedy theater and Moscow Art Theater named after Chehov who was awarded with the «Best Actor» prize at «Kinotavr» film festival this year.
Currently, the commission is completing to discuss the film-candidates from Kazakhstan for the competition program. 16 pictures of Kazakhstan filmmakers that were produced in September 2020 — September 2021 at «Kazakhfilm» and private studios will be shown in frames of the Festival.

In total, the qualitative and quantitative growth of Kazakhstan cinematograph is obvious. And the most important fact is that almost every home-produced film is released. Several first-run Kazakh and Russian films will be shown in frames of «Eurasia» IFF.

At the Opening ceremony of VIII"Euraisa" IFF a long-awaited film of Kazakh cinema maestro Amir Karakulov «Virtual love» will be shown. This film is a brilliant teen drama, filled with energy and beauty, where the action takes place in real and virtual spaces. The stars of Kazakh and Russian cinema, Bibigul Suyunshalina and Artur Smolyaninov featured in this film.

The run of the first Kazakh film in fairy tale-fantasy genre «The book of Legends: mysterious forest» directed by Ahat Ibrayev, will take place as a «Special event» of the Festival. This film was made with the 30% use of computer graphics and animation. There is an amazing combination of up-to-date technologies, fairy characters and grotesque.

Besides the competition program and «Dynamic Kazakh cinema» program, the films awarded at Berlin Cinema Festival and the biggest in Asia Busan Film Festival will be presented at «Eurasia».

Thus, in frames of «Echo of Berlin cinema festival» program, the Kazakhstan spectator will have an opportunity to watch the films that were awarded with «Golden Bear» in the last 3 years: «Caesar must die» directed by Taviani brothers — 2021, «Divorce: Nadira and Simin» by Asgar Farkhadi — 2020, «Honey (Bal)» by Semih Kaplanoglu — 2010 and also a German film «Barbara» by Christian Petzold that was awarded for the «Best Director» at «Berlin Cinema Festival — 2021».

In «Echo of Busan cinema festival» program the Asian films-winners will be presented, such as: «Invictus» (South Korea), «Nino» (Philippines), «To see the Indian circus» (India), and «Hanaan» (South Korea — Uzbekistan).

Following the tradition of creating the cinema bridge «East-West», «Eurasia» IFF will show the retrospectives of 2 countries — Greece and Turkey. Why are we interested in the cinematograph of these particular countries?

Despite of the economic crisis, Greece is in the stage of the rise of art-house cinema and the awards from the most prestigious festivals are the direct evidence of that. Therefore, in our retrospective we will show the following films: «Fangs» by Yorgas Lantimos — the film deserved the top prize in Cannes «Special look» program in 2009; «Pelican» by Olivier Horlait with Emir Kusturica starring; «L» by Babis Markidis — the top prize nominee in Sundance Film Festival.

We are not the only ones interested in Greek movie. The Greek films were recently shown in Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles and other film festivals. 25 full-length fiction films were made in Greece in 2020, with its population of 11,3 mln. people. The share of Greek films on their market is 11%. We can say that according to the production volume and market share Greece has the situation similar to Kazakhstan.

Turkish cinematograph is also on its rise nowadays and their soap operas are the best evidence. In the country, with the population of 74,7 mln. people, 70 fiction films were produced in 2020. The Turkish film share on the national market is 50,7% which is the highest share in Europe. Turkish films also win the prizes of the prestigious film festivals.

In our retrospective we will show the winner of San-Sebastian 2008 — «Pandora box» by Esim Ustauglu, the winners of «Berlin cinema festival» — «Honey (Bal)» by Semih Kaplanoglu and «Space» by Reha Erdem (2009), the best Turkish film of 2020 «Shadows and faces» by Dervis Zaim, and the best Turkish film of 2021 «Ecotopia» by Uksel Aksu.

We would like to express our gratitude to the Embassies of Greece and Turkey located in Kazakhstan for their cooperation and assistance in selecting the films of their countries.

The most interesting films of 2020-2021 produced in Kirgizstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will be shown in «Central-Asian panorama» informational program.

«Eurasia» IFF Press Service,
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