The Cannes Film Festival is under way in the southern French city of the same name, witnessing a 12 day long parade of movie stars, prominent directors and producers, film buffs, and global entertainment moguls.
This year’s festival includes films from Kazakhstan, such as the 100 minute long feature film “The Gentle Indifference of the World.”
Directed by filmmaker and producer Adilkhan Yerzhanov, the film tells the story of Saltanat, a young woman who has to find money to pay off a large family debt that her father left behind, in order to save her mother from being sent to prison. Her admirer, Kuandyk, follows Saltanat trying to help her get the money, but he ends up finding himself in more trouble than he bargained for.
“Every new film and expectation of reaction is not just exciting, it is scary,” Yerzhanov said in an interview with Seance.Ru.
“But still I have shot a lot of movies, a habit was developed. Criticism is always inevitable – it should be just accepted. But sometimes excitement grows into to paranoia,” he said.
The Kazakhstani filmmaker, age 35, made his debut in Cannes in 2014, when his movie “The Owners” was screened and made it into the top 10 films of the year list.
Zhannat Alshanova, another Kazakhstani filmmaker, will have her film “End of Season” shown during the festival. Filmed in just six days, it will be screened during the Cinéfondation competition, along with 19 other short and medium-length films.
With a running time of 23 minutes, the film tells the story of Rosa, who arrives at her husband’s resort – a small hotel in the vast dry steppes of Kazakhstan – to check on staff and collect accounts. An unexpected encounter interrupts the routine of her stay and awakens a long gone passion for swimming.
“As far as I know, no one from Kazakhstan had previously entered the shortlist of Cinéfondation,” Alshanova said shortly after her film was chosen by the organizers of the festival.
“Entering the shortlist opens the way to various cinema funds and residences,” she added.
France’s Association for the Diffusion of Independent Cinema, also known as “ACID,” will feature the Kazakhstani film “Bad Bad Winter,” directed by Olga Korotko, while Short Film Corner will showcase “Hide and Seek” by Venera Kairzhanova and “Asan” by Berik Zhakhanov.
Kazakhstani filmmakers last walked away with an award from Cannes in 1998, when Darezhan Omirbayev’s “Killer” won the Un Certain Regard award. Despite not racking up many awards at Cannes, the Caspian and Central Asia country has a decades-long history of independent filmmaking, producing on average about 15 per year.