From 6th to 10th June 2019, Premiere Cinemas in Romford, London became the centre of attention for directors, producers, actors and designers from Eurasian countries. As part of the third ‘Romford Film Festival’, for the first time, the ‘ECG Eurasian Film Festival’ (London) featured alongside it as a contributing partner.
Founded in 2017 by British film makers and enthusiasts, The Romford Film Festival this year teamed up with the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) under the leadership of Laura Hamilton and Marat Akhmedjanov, to bring a unique platform for communication between British filmmakers and their post-Soviet counterparts. Aligned with the Eurasian Creative Guild (ECG) ambitions to promote all creative people, including filmmakers of the Eurasian region in Great Britain and the whole world, the festival was a culmination of over a year’s hard work to find, promote and develop film making talent.
Despite its infancy, The ECG Eurasian Film Festival gathered over 60 films from 24 different countries. The film program of the festival kicked off with the British premiere of the film “My Name is Kozha” by an outstanding classic of Kazakhstan cinema, Abdulla Karsakbayev. During the five days of the film festival more than 1,500 people visited and were shown films from diverse locations including Kazakhstan, Russia, Italy, Finland, USA, Belarus, Sweden, Germany, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Canada and the UK.
Guests of the festival also had a unique opportunity to learn about the Eurasian region, not only through cinema, but also through exhibitions of paintings, handicrafts and books created by members of the Eurasian Creative Guild. Two Silk Road Fashion shows, networking round table events and creative meetings were also held within the framework of the ECG Eurasian Film Festival.
On the final day of the festival, and on the largest cinema screen, the award ceremony was orchestrated to recognise the most talented filmmakers for their efforts. This was stylishly conducted in the presence of the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Michael Deon Burton, among representatives of various embassies, a wide array of press and esteemed international guests.
The overall winner of the Grand Prix was to the Russian-Belarus entry film, “Kaddish”, while Best Director went to Mahmoud Shoolizadeh for the film, “Susan”, a UK entry. There were 15 awards handed out, as well as a number of diplomas. The event marks what is hopefully the inauguration of a new branch of exciting ECG projects and events.
FULL AWARD LIST:
1. Grand Prix: film ”KADDISH’ (Russia-Belarus)
2. Best Screenplay: the film “MIDNIGHT OF THE SHAH” (Azerbaijan)
3. Best Director: Mahmoud Shoolizadeh, the film “Susan” (United Kingdom)
4. Best Male Role: Wojtek Urbanski, the film “KHARMS” (Russia)
5. Best female role: Dinara Sharipova, “SEA AND THE GIRL” (Kazakhstan)
6. Best non-Eurasian director Hernan Findling, film “IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES” (Argentina)
7. Best trailer for the book Three Distichus – Elena Aslanyan (Armenia)
8. Best Documentary: “DONETSK” (UK)
9. Best director of documentary “ORGANIC SAGE OF INDIA” (India)
10. Best film based on real events “IT’S NOT FOREVER” (Russia)
11. Best Short Film “HEAVEN OF CHILDREN” (Iran)
12. Best script of the short film “MALIBU ALTERNATIVE” (Ukraine)
13. Best male role of a short film; Zura Pirveli, film “BEHIND THE DOORS” (Georgia-France)
14. Best female role of the short film: Irina Egorova, the film “BLOOD” (Russia)
15. Best Short Film Director: Boris Hayrapetyan “YES! TODAY” (Armenia)
ECG Eurasian Film Festival 2019 was made possible thanks to the active participation of the large internationally located Guild-member team, including: Alexandra Rey, Anna Lari, Angelina Krasnogir, Ainura Berdikul, Bolot Shamsiev, Dale Lessoway, Nadi Fadina, Natalie Bays, Maira Karsakbayeva, Solvi Fannar, to name but a few.