Action Film Festival Draws Celebrities to Astana

Actress Elizaveta Boyarskaya at the opening ceremony of the third Astana Action Film Festival.

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KazWorld, Jul 5, 2012

The holiday of bright and modern cinema has marked the beginning of the celebration of Astana’s birthday coming on July 6.

The III International Action Film Festival, held in Astana annually, run from July 1 to 3 this year. During the three days, citizens and guests of Astana plunged into the atmosphere of a bright festival, enjoyed great films with dynamic plots, and had an opportunity to meet favorite movie stars, producers, and actors.

This year, a Cesar Award-winning French actor Vincent Cassel, an English actor Dominic Cooper, an American film and television producer Jim Lemley, and other prominent figures in the film industry were among the festival invitees.

The initiator and president of the event is the famous Kazakhstan-born filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. He is best known for his movies Night Watch (2004) and its sequel Day Watch (2006), as well as the American films Wanted (2008) and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). The last one was shown on the first day of the Astana festival.

“This outstanding event opens a world of unforgettable emotions, unique images, and creative discoveries for cinema lovers,” Imangali Tasmagambetov, Mayor of Astana, welcomed the guests of the festival with this message. “The interest demonstrated to this film festival shows that it is one of the most important and anticipated events in the cultural life of our city and the country,” he said.

A total of 20 full length feature films by directors from the United States, Europe, Asia, and countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States were screened at the festival, which was held in the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation. In addition, a number of round table discussions and master classes by film-makers from different countries, as well as press conferences by movie stars, were held throughout the festival workdays.

“It is nice to see how an idea, which was born not so long ago, has found its realization today, on the eve of the birthday of Kazakhstan’s capital, and the festival has become a kind of a gift of filmmakers all over the world to the citizens and guests of Astana,” Timur Bekmambetov said in his greetings.

“We expect this event to become a ground for film-makers in search for investors and partners for co-productions. Holding such a large scale festival grants Kazakhstan people not only an opportunity to watch the newest films, but also a chance to promote their country worldwide by means of attracting attention to national cinema and displaying local films,” he added.

The special “ART FEST” that took place during festival was created this year in order to find young talents. More than 200 of best students from Kazakhstan, Korea, China and Japan film institutes requested to participate in the Fest. The best 100 participants were chosen and have been assigned to create an image of “Astana Superhero.”

Four different nominations were included in the Fest: video, comics, anime, and the costume of the superhero. The purpose of the contest was to create an absolutely new and modern image of a superhero to associate with the Kazakh culture, as well as the country’s young, yet dynamically growing capital.

The annual contest for best written scenario was held among 10 best final competitors and the winner was to get a special prize from Bekmambetov. Another contest organized within the festival was for best short movies, the most popular of which were shown during the festival and the audience was to choose the winner.

The Astana film festival concluded with the presentation of The Amazing Spider-Man, scheduled for release in Kazakhstan on July 5.