8th Almaty Eurasia International Film Festival

8th Almaty Eurasia International Film Festival, Kazahstan (September 17 - September 22, 2012)

For its 8th edition, the IFF (International Film Festival) Eurasia chose 12 films from Europe, Asia, CIS countries and Central Asia to compose the International Competition. The program of the film festival included an interesting out-of-competition line-up: the Central Asia Panorama, The Dynamic Kazakh Cinema, Kinomost West-East: the cinematography of Greece and Turkey, The Echo of the Berlin Film Festival and The Echo of the Busan Film Festival (main prize winners from recent editions of both festivals). The Eurasia festival has also given an important focus this year to the business side of film-making by developing the relationship between producers and film distributors from the European and Asian countries that were present. Therefore, the Eurasia film festival organized round tables to discuss the possibilities of developing co-production and promotion of new films. For those who were interested in Kazakh films and the host country's production, in the Dynamic Kazakh Cinema program 11 films released in Kazakhstan from September 2011 to September 2012 were screened, including seven premieres and two made-for-television film premieres. Aside from watching the films, cinema school students who came to the festival were able to exchange ideas with some industry professionals present in the vicinity of the central festival hub at the Almaty Towers, where (apart from the opening and closing ceremonies at the Kazakhstan Palace of Culture) all the festival screenings took place. Films were enthusiastically received and the four screening rooms of the cinema were always full. Of course the screening rooms were not so big and therefore couldn't permit access for all cinema lovers to see what they wanted to see, but the local audience enthusiasm may bring forward the idea of building more cinema screens in order to create the possibility of seeing films which may otherwise never come to Kazakhstan. It was good to see people sitting on the stairs to watch the films, happy to squeeze into any available space, in spite of security measures. As for Almaty itself, to see the city, its landscape and especially to take a picture with the Beatles statues while listing to their songs up on the heights of Kok Tobe, could not be forgotten simply because of the films! (Shahla Nahid)

Festival: http://eurasiaiff.kz/en

FIPRESCI PRIZE

The Convoy Konvoy The Convoy
(Russia, 2012, 81 mins) Jury: Shahla Nahid (France) , Andronika Martonova (Bulgaria) , Steven Yates (UK)
International Sales: Pavel Lungin Studio

The Brutal Life in the Cold

by Steven Yates

Steven Yates looks at the critics' winner The Convoy (Konvoy) and explains how director Alexey Mizgirev conveys a dark, brutal and depressing world through his unique mise­en-scene and excellent ensemble acting, particularly in the memorable performances of the leads. read more

What Future for the Central Asian Cinema?

by Shahla Nahid

Shahla Nahid looks at the varying levels of output and quality in the national film productions of former Soviet countries in Central Asia and wonders whether most of them can go it alone and make an impact in world cinema. read more