Kazakh Pavilion Operates in Cannes Informburo.kz

In the pavilion, a lineup of Kazakh cinema’s new and future projects. The first outcomes are already there with one film getting a producer from Japan.

Film professionals know that celebs, red carpets and even festival winners are not as important as Cannes Film Market, one of the world’s largest film  markets and the definitely the biggest in Europe. Most important film industry professionals come here to buy and sell films.

In the international village, Kazakh pavilion is under the No. 219. It was started with the support of Republic of Kazakhstan Ministry of Culture and Sports. It’s a good spot, with Cannes Mayor’s office and CANNES lettering just across the street, and the Old Port with yachts moored on the right. An Uzbek pavilion is just next door, it’s their first go this year. Although our neighbors didn’t won anything at prominent festivals yet, they now promote their films as aggressively as we do.

Kazakh pavilion looks modest and is not for large crowds, it’s mainly for business.

Major studios’ pavilions are much bigger, and attract many visitors who go there on a real guided tour. Such pavilions are of an unusual design, have photoshoot zones and entertain their guests with high tech art objects. Many pavilions are so popular that they have to charge entrance fees. They say that ticket to an American pavilion costs 300 dollars.

Kazakh pavilion entertains their guests by giving them Kazakh actors and directors. Kazakh National Arts University even brings their students from Astana for Cannes immersion sessions. The University’s Principal Aiman Mussakhodjayeva is the Kazakh delegation’s head and representative of Eurasia Film Festival that will be held in Astana on 1 – 6 July. This year, veterans of Kazakh film industry, actress Meruert Utekesheva and actor Assanali Ashimov have joined the delegation, and the latter even celebrated his 81st birthday in Cannes.

The business program includes showcases of Kazakh cinema and pitchings. Last year, Yerlan Nurmukhamedov’s Horse Thieves raised the interest of Japanese producers from Tokyo New Cinema. Nurmukhamedov says they produced Takeshi Kitano and Jia Zhangke whose Ash Is Purest White was screened in Cannes Competition this week.

Nurmukhamevov’s project awaits approval and financing from the Ministry of Culture and Information. Ms. Mussakhodayeva states that ‘Kazakhstan is open for co-productions with all potential partners’.

This year, A Night of Kazakhstan’s Culture was held in the huge ballroom of the legendary Majestic Hotel situated next to the Palais des Festivals. Ms. Mussakhodjayeva played a traditional violin concerto with the Academy of Soloists. The feat of the evening was Dimash Kudaiberghen who already sung at the Cote d’Azure last year. A fan club of his is thriving in France: female fans arrived to Cannes to catch a glimpse of their idol here.

During the cocktail party in the pavilion that the singer attended, female fans, who stood behind the fence, eyed those near him with undisguised envy. Someone ordered to “let the girls in” but the festival security guards strongly objected to that as the ladies failed to obtain festival accreditations. Mr. Kudainberghen tried to came out to mingle with his fans but the stern security guards didn’t let him do it either, so the fans had to talk with their idol over a small fence. Mr. Kudaiberghen signed autographs to each and every fan and had an impromptu photo session with them.

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