Kazakhstan Chamber of Commerce in the USA


Kazakhstan’s film industry thrives

Posted on January 25, 2015 by KazCham

The Astana Times

Kazakhstan is utilizing its thriving film industry to define its own image on the international stage. The Almaty-based Kazakhfilm company has brought the work of young actors and directors to international audiences through the means of numerous scholarships and grants. Already it has created some of Kazakhstan’s biggest critical and commercial hits including the award-winning films “Harmony Lessons” (2013), “Shal” (2012) and “Myn Bala” (2011).

According to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Culture and Sport , the company collaborates with various institutions like Zhurgenov National University of the Arts, the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, the New York Film Academy and the St. Petersburg State University of Film and Television, in order to train budding film makers and actors in all technical and creative aspects of the art.

“National film production” is a part of the  national budget, and young filmmakers who fare well in the international film festival circuit are often given support from Kazakhfilm to create their next project “if there is a script on a socially significant theme.”

Kazakhstan’s film industry launched prominently in 1942 – 1944, when Soviet filmmakers Vsevolod Pudovkin, Dziga Vertov and SergeiEisenstein were evacuated to Almaty during the Second World War. Kazakh films were influenced by the Russian style and developed gradually into an intense landscape.

Kazakhfilm began its life as Alma-Ata Film Studios in 1941 before being renamed in 1961. After the country’s independence, the industry struggled, much like the rest of the nation. Yet in 2005 it began a renaissance, with the big-budget Nomad, saw over $37 million being invested in technology and people. This led to a string of socially profound and engaging movies.

In 2010, Kazakhfilm produced the country’s highest-grossing domestic film, “Tale of the Pink Bunny.” Between 2008 and 2010, the share of domestic films increased from 3 percent to 7 percent in Kazakhstan. With rising volume and talent, investment in infrastructure and robust distribution channels, the Kazakh film industry is now emerging as a promising sector of the Kazakh economy, as well as an instrument for international prestige.

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