The Independent Eurasian Film Festival Celebrates its Fourth Anniversary
On May 19-25 in the heart of London (Romford) the IV ECG Film Festival, together with the Romford Film Festival, was held including the presentation of more than 10 Eurasian countries.
The festival was organised by the British non-profit organization, the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), with the support and participation of the British film festival – Romford Film Festival and Premiere Cinemas. For the fourth year in a row, the Eurasian Film Festival has traditionally gathered the attention of many talented directors, actors, producers, screenwriters and animators from all over the world. Over 500 entries from 30 countries were evaluated by and international jury.
2022 Jury Members:
Spencer Hawken: director, founder of Romford Film Festival (UK)
Bradley Barton: director, film critic (UK)
Michael Sagatis: researcher, composer and cinematographer (Wales)
Tim Wilson; director animator and theatre designer (UK)
Sergei Timchenko: director. editor and operator (Ukraine)
Nuno Martini: cinematographer, editor, screenwriter, producer from Lisbon
Taalaibek Kulmendeev: Producer, director, screenwriter. Co-Chairman of the Confederation of Unions of Cinematographers of the CIS and Baltic States. (Kyrgyzstan)
Mansur Sarsembaev: screenwriter, director, winner of the “Altyn Kalam” award for “Best Screenplay and Dramaturgy of the Year”, winner of the third “ECG Film Festival” in the nomination “Best Screenplay” (Kazakhstan).
Maksud Sarsembaev: screenwriter, director, winner of the third “ECG Film Festival” in the nomination “Best Screenplay” (Kazakhstan)
Peter Blunden: British film critic, member of the jury at the Romford Film Festival and the Romford Horror Festival (UK).
Oksana Zhukova: TV journalist, TV presenter, head of the “ArtMedia” production center.
The official Opening of the festival took place on May 19. On the first day, the finalist films in the “Short Film” category were presented to the audience. Among them were such films as ELECTROOKO – “Tomorrow” by the Uzbek journalist, producer and public figure, Nikita Makarenko; the debut short film “Steps” by AUCA graduate from Kyrgyzstan, Zhanaiym Ashimova; a film by a Ukrainian director, Natalia Pasenetskaya, “Honorable Lviv Lady” and the film of a well-known director from Azerbaijan “The Last One” Fariz Ahmadov.
“Good sentiment, nice camerawork. And even though by some cultures this may be daring, its a nice innocent piece”, commented director and film critic Spencer Hawken on the Ukrainian film.
At 8 p.m, the solemn Opening Ceremony of the festival took place, where the vice-chairman of the Eurasian Creative Guild, Mark (Marat) Akhmedjanov, and a member of the board of curators of the Eurasian Creative Guild, John Farndon, Mayor of the London district of Havering (Havering Borough) – John Mylod and the founder of the Romford Film Festival, Spencer Hawken all took to the stage to welcome participants. It served as a starting point for the British public to immerse themselves in the world of Eurasian cinema. A new international film festival of the guild in Kazakhstan was also announced – Burabay International Short Film Festival, which will be held in June 2023.
Prior to the opening ceremony, all guests were invited to the premiere of a feature film by an Iranian director and musician in London, “World, Northern Hemisphere”, Hossein Tehrani.
“This is a forceful film about growing up in Iran as the embattled main character is constantly clashing with his overbearing mother about how to classify the discovery of human remains found”, noted Welsh director and film critic, Michael Sagatis.
The second culminating day of the shows took place on May 21st. Among the films of the finalists the following works were presented:
Music video – “His saving Grace” directed by Alexey Pavelko from Russia
Mobile Video – Eli Nazik, Mehmet Tigli (Turkey)
Animated film – Lullaby created by the director and founder of the animation studio “Dala Animation” in Kazakhstan, Dilshat Rakhmatullin.
On the Silk Road – an aspiring director from Uzbekistan, Sherzod Nazarov
Nunik – director, screenwriter and winner of several international festivals with 20 years of experience in the field of cinema from Armenia, Elena Arshakyan
“Coincidence” – director and screenwriter from Almaty, Kazakhstan, Egor Lymarev
“Catherine II. The Fall of the Great” – the youngest director from Russia, Andrey Archakov
“Saykbai and the Beatles” – Honored Artist and Cultural Figure of Kyrgyzstan, Tynai Ibragimov
“Stray Children” – director from Russia, Anna Dranitsyna
“The Dream of Kaplan” – Devrim Taban, Tahir Un (Turkey)
“Share the Sky” – musician and director of documentary and feature films from Uzbekistan, Aliaskar Fatkhullin
ZHANYRTUU (Renewal) – Victoria Arkhangelskaya (Kyrgyzstan)
Also, on May 21, a guest film from Russia “Blockade Diary” by Russian director, screenwriter and producer ,Andrei Zaitsev, was shown, which caused heated discussions among the audience. A film about February 1942, with severe frosts and a terrible famine, it follows a young woman, Olga, who has just buried her husband and is sure that soon she too will die of starvation. She simply wants to see her father one last time and say goodbye to him.
As part of the online program of the film festival, a master class by Irina Egorova “Let me introduce you to yourself!” was held. Irina Egorova is an actress, writer, chief director of the Komedian Theatre in Moscow, with 20 years of acting teaching experience. Irina shared her experience and skills on how to learn to see, hear, perceive each other, and direct speech in such a way as to be understood.
The final day of the festival, May 25, became the most memorable among the festival days. Two feature films from Russia and Tajikistan closed the premiere program of finalist films. “Tygyn Darhan” by the famous director and screenwriter from Russia, Nikita Arzhakov and the film “Water Boy” by Faizullo Faiz (Tajikistan).
“A beautiful film, requiring some effort to watch but so thoroughly rewarding. There is no levity here: this is about a bellicose and determined history but it is a story worth telling and it is a stunning piece of cinema”, commented film critic from England, Professor Tim Wilson.
The main event of the day was the Closing Ceremony of the IV Eurasian Film Festival, where the best Eurasian films of 2022 were announced.
The guests of honour of the Ceremony were the Ambassador of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to the UK, Ulan Zhusupov and adviser Batyr Kadyrkulov. Advisor of Embassy of Kazakhstan, Arsen Omarov, Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Konstantin Yushmanov and Second Secretary of the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the UK, Bakhtiyor Mukhamedzhanov.
The winners were selected by both an audience vote and the evaluations of the jury members. The winners of the IV Eurasian ECG Film Festival are:
Grand Prix: Best Eurasian feature film – Tygyn Darhan (Sakha-Yakutia/Russia); Nikita Arzhakov
Best Eurasian Short Film – On the Silk Road (Uzbekistan); Sherzod Nazarov
Best Eurasian Documentary Film – Sayakbai and the Beatles (Kyrgyzstan); Tyni Ibragimov
Best Eurasian screenplay – Bifurcation point (Kazakhstan); Natalia Makhno
Additional awards were given to:
Audience Choice Award – Honorable Lviv Lady (Ukraine); Natalia Pasenetskaya
Audience Choice Award – Water Boy (Tajikistan); Faizullo Faiz
Audience Choice Award – ZHANYRTUU (Renewal) (Kyrgyzstan); Victoria
Audience Choice Award – Lullaby (Kazakhstan); Dilshat Rakhmatullin.
Certificate of Acknowledgment / Music Video- His saving Grace; Alexey Pavelko (Russia)
Certificate of Acknowledgment / Mobile Video – Eli Nazik; Mehmet Tigli (Turkey)
Honorary diplomas from the Festival Jury:
Honorary Mention Award – Nunik (Armenia), Elena Arshakyan
Honorary Mention Award – The Dream of Kaplan” (Turkey), Devrim Taban, Tahir Un
Honorary Mention Award – “Share the Sky” (Uzbekistan), Aliaskar Fatkhullin
Honorary Mention Award – BLACK FOREST MYSTERY (Great Britain), Jaroslaw Gogolin
Best Young Director – Catherine II. The Fall of the Great (Russia), Andrey Archakov
The 5th Eurasian Film Festival (London) opened entries for the 2023 season. Applications can be made through the FilmFreeway platform.