Assanali Ashimov’s Film Screened at 71st Cannes Film Festival

Aruaq, filmed by S. Aimanov’s Kazakhfilm and commissioned by the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports, was presented at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in Kazakhstan National Pavilion and arose much interest from international festivals’ program directors and distributors.

“I am impressed by Kazakh films lineup in National Pavilion. I especially liked Aruaq, the film about an old man and an orphan. Currently, we’re in talks with our Kazakh colleagues re distribution of the film in Italy”, said Italian producer Flavio Donini.

Khuat Akmetov directed Aruaq, a story of a laife-changing meeting of Agatai, an old man whose life is coming to an end, and an orphan boy.

“The film’s idea belongs to Assanali Ashimov. In 2014, he offered me to make a movie about a lonely old man who lives in a remote steppe. Ashimov’s concept was that old man is a steppe philosopher who is taking interest in various sciences”, said Mr. Akhmetov.

Principal photography started last year and was completed this spring. Most of the footage was filmed on the banks of the river Ili in Almaty region. The script was written by Mr. Akhmetov and Russian screenwriter Odelsha Aghishev based on ancient Turkic legends.

For second year in a row, Kazakhstan National Pavilion opened with the support of the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports represents our country and promotes Kazakh films  in Cannes Film Festival.

This year, new films made by Kazakhfilm Studios were presented in the pavilion, with Amre (directed by Jeff Vespa) and Talan (directed by Bolat Kalymbetov) among them.

About Aruaq:

In the vast Kazakh steppe, in a house on a hill lives old Agatai. His beloved wife is long gone; he has neither children, nor relatives left. However, Agatai is not the one to give up, keeping a busy lifestyle. He tends to his modest household and does what he can to preserve the steppe he considers his homeland. One day, the old man adopts an orphan boy who escaped from an orphanage. Two very different people, 70 year-old Agatai and 10 year-old Bobek, grow close to each other becoming father and son.

Production Company: Shaken Aimanov Kazakhfilm Studios JSC  

Film length: 90 minutes

Genre: Drama

Written by: Khuat Akhmetov, Odelsha Agishev

Directed by: Khuat Akhmetov

Director of Photography: Murat Nougmanov

Production Designer: Yuliya Levitskaya

Music by: Aisha Orazbayeva

Produced by: Yerjan Akhmetov

Cast: Assanali Ashimov, Nourmuhammed Askar, Jassoulan Kopberghenov, Nourjan Abubakir, Gulnara Dousmatova, Azat Sitmetov

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