The 13th Eurasia International Film Festival will take place in Astana from July 22 through July 28. It is the biggest filmmaker forum in Central Asia, accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).
The Festival’s main goals are to support film industry in Kazakhstan, to further the appreciation of motion picture arts for people of all ages, and to build the platform for successful cooperation between Asia and Europe.
The Festival will offer a large choice of films from around the world produced in 2016-2017. The competitive and non-competitive sections will present dramatic features and shorts, mainstream and art-house cinema, as well as documentaries. The program also includes a special “Five Continents” competition of films for kids and “6 Plaza” screenings of films from the developing countries. Q&As with filmmakers and stars will complement the screenings.
For the first time, the festival will be hosting the Eurasia Film Market attended by film buyers and sellers from the CIS countries, the East (China, India, South Korea) and the West (Europe, America). The traditional Eurasia Spotlight section will offer film project pitching, round tables, panel discussions, press–conferences, master classes, and special events.
The Eurasia International Film Festival is the largest film festival of Kazakhstan and Central Asia, accredited by the FIAPF; every year it expands its programme, and it has become an active business and discussion platform, with participation of professionals from the global film industry.
The purpose of the Eurasia Film Festival is the development of Kazakh cinema as a form of art and as an industry; the increase of the interest of the broad public in film art; and the strengthening of international co-operation.
The Eurasia Film Festival is not just a unique event that brings together world artists, but it is a large cultural project that contributes a big share to the process of Kazakhstan’s dynamical economic, political, social development; it establishes – irrespective of language distinctions – a fruitful dialogue of cultures; it expands spiritual links with foreign countries. Our festival sets yet another powerful impulse that strengthens our national values.
In the framework of the preparation for the XII Eurasia Film Festival, we have set the following aims:
* Continue re-branding of the festival, getting broader recognition both in Kazakhstan and abroad;
* Improve the structure and organisation in full conformity with the FIAPF Regulations;
* Attract new audiences, transform the festival into a large cultural event important not only for the city of Almaty but for the entire region of Central Asia;
* Develop the interest and love for national cinema in the Kazakhstani filmgoers;
* Strengthen and further develop international cooperation with foreign filmmakers, producers and distributors;
* Strengthen and develop ties with the international film community, with special attention to the countries of Central Asia, Middle East, and China, which are our prospective partners for the development of co-production and distribution markets of Kazakhstani films;
* Present and promote the best film projects and achievements of the Kazakhstani film-industry;
* Distribute information about the cultural and cinematic life of Kazakhstan among foreign mass-media.
Preparatory stage. Carrying out the complete work involved in the organization of a film festival, including development of the festival’s film programme and all accompanying events; preparation of scripts for the opening and closing ceremonies of the film festival; invitation of guests and participants to the film festival; conducting an advertising campaign and finalising arrangements on the coverage of the festival by local and foreign mass-media; manufacture of prizes of the film festival; preparation and printing of festival catalogue, screening programmes, publicity material; etc.
Main stage. Conducting the opening and closing ceremonies of the film festival; screenings of films; business platform “Eurasia Spotlight”; educational program “Eurasia Masters”; round tables, press conferences; and events of the Professional Filmmakers Club (PROKK).
The competition program of the Eurasia Film Festival will include no less than 12 full-length feature films and 15 short films. In total, the festival programme will present about 80 films, including non-competition sections.
The program formation will reflect not only tendencies of current world cinema, but also take into account the interests and needs of the Kazakhstani public and of foreign partners in our region. For the first time a shorts competition will take place, which will raise interest in the festival from among the young international film community. Non-competition programmes will be varied both from the point of view of genres and plots, and range from film classics to contemporary experiments, from fiction films to documentaries, in order to appeal to various groups of the target audience. Alongside the European-Asian and world panoramas, a special focus on Arab and Turkish cinema is planned. Within the framework of the festival, a number of special events will be held: “Thanksgiving Retrospective” consisting of films by well-known directors, produced in different years on the territory of Kazakhstan; morning sessions for children with parents; screenings of popular-science and educational films presented in the section “Light of Knowledge”; screenings of the best Kazakh and Central Asian films released over the past year and nominated for the “Tulpar” Awards by the National Film Academy. Besides the main festival prizes, there will be a prize in the name of Abdulla Karsakpaev for the Best Children’s Film; a prize named after Oraz Abishev for the Best Documentary; and a Special Award for Contribution to Cinema.
The screenings will be accompanied by a number of events, namely press conferences with the film makers; presentation of a film to the audience before the screening (including by video-conference); screenings followed by Q&A sessions, which in turn promote the formation of a viewing culture and create greater interest from among spectators.
The educational program “Eurasia Masters”, which was launched last year, will continue this year; within its framework, a number of festival guests and participants will hold open master-classes aimed mainly at students, future experts of the film industry, and creative young people. The program will not only involve film fans in educational events, but also attract volunteers and enable them to become a part of a festival team.
The creation of video-diaries of the festival is planned: they would highlight the main festival events and be released both via national television channels and placed on the festival’s official web site.
For professionals of the film industry, the traditional special event – modelled on Istanbul IFF, Moscow IFF and other festivals – will be held: “Eurasia Spotlight”. It will not only consist of pitching of scripts, but also of screenings of works-in-progress: films which are at shooting stage or in post-production, and require additional financing for completion. Authors will have an opportunity to get acquainted with potential investors, producers, partners, and with other creative collectives, in order to exchange experiences, build contacts, and search for new markets for their works.
Part of the festival are also round tables devoted to topical questions of the industry: the project “Concepts for the development of the film industry until 2050”, work on which is under way within the framework of the state commission of the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan; and the opportunity of creating joint international projects. The activities of the Professional Filmmakers Club will also continue.
The Eurasia Film Festival will take place under the motto “Love as the basis of human life and a path for the harmonisation of cultures” and will bring together the countries of Asia, Europe and the global film community. In the year that marks the 25th anniversary of the Independence of Kazakhstan and the millennium of the city of Almaty, these seven days in September will become a meeting-place and the beginning of creative projects for film professionals from all continents.
The Eurasia Film Festival is expected to promote the development of Kazakhstani cinema as art and industry, raise the interest of the broad public to cinema, and strengthen international cooperation.