The most important of all arts
text: Aliya Shineleva , exclusively for Gazeta.kz
The cinema for us remains one of the most important arts. Although we watch it more and more on TV sitting on a sofa at home, depriving ourselves of the magic of art.
The grand illusion really impresses only when it is Cinema that you watch in a good cinema hall on a big screen.
But the cinemas that recently became frequented again, although, unfortunately, perhaps only in two Kazakhstani capitals, are invaded mostly by Hollywood products (as well as TV screens though).
And their main visitors are young people, who go to cinema in American way, crunching popcorn and drinking Coke.
There are around ten private and ten state-owned cinemas in Almaty. The latter lead a very humble existence. There are virtually no state donations at all, although it is several years that a construction of new cinemas, including for children, is discussed.
But still some hope for a renaissance of the cinema industry and cinema distribution is appearing.
This week film stars and filmmakers from CIS, Russia, Near and Far Abroad will gather in Almaty.
The second Kazakhstani festival "The Stars of Shaken-2004" aspiring for a title of an international bridge between East and West opens on September 30 in Almaty.
These are healthy and worthy ambitions - let them be. Efforts of a team lead by Venera Nigmatullina, director general of the festival, and a famous actress, as well as the support of city administration are encouraging.
This meeting of stars has been preceded by PR-campaigns, weeks of Kazakh And children cinema, an exposition of costumes of our mega-project "Nomad" and a certain reanimation of discussions on the national cinema production and distribution in mass media.
So the public waits for whatever comes out of efforts of the festival organisers and how it will influence the development of our cinema.
The example of the neighbours next door, where the cinema industry is actively developing, has become very visible indeed. Investors in Russia are now interested in the cinema, the invest big money in it.
And now the cinema means not only monotonous series, cheap in both price and content, but also serious expensive films, including historical ones, which are expected not only in Russia, but also in developed country, where there is enough of its own cinema.
Nikita Mikhalkov has undertaken to make a screen version of a novel by Boris Akunin, there are many other visible and long awaited projects, including animation for children. This process has been especially prompted by the success of the "Night Watch", which has brought an unprecedented in the Russian cinema sixteen million profit.
Karen Shakhnazarov with his film "Rider called Death", Timur Bekmagambetov with a film "Night Watch", actors Alexander Abdulov, Stanislav Lubshin, Vladimir Mashkov are expected to arrive. Also expected are filmmakers from Africa, Turkey, Belgium and other countries. Of course, the guests will be hosted by Kazakhstani stars - old and new ones.
Communication, exchange of opinions, dialogues, estimation of competition films and, finally, awards - all will be as usual at such festivals. What's important for us, Kazakhstani people, is that it is the second festival, which implies a risk again, because a cinema festival "Eurasia" was not continued in due time.
What's quite exciting is that the Kazakhstani cinema will be represented mostly by debutants.
True, the film "Schizo" by Gulshad Omarova is already well-known, it has been noted at the Cannes in a programme "Special Look", marked at "Kinotaur", bought by foreign cinema distributors. Positive reports have been acquired by "Resurrection Isle" by Rustem Abdrashev.
But a mass spectator has not seen these films, they are absent from the big screen, all was reduced to small premieres.
It appears that we already know how to make good films, especially intellectual ones, but we still don't know how to distribute them. The brightest example is the recent, unnoticeable premiere of "Schizo". Well, it seems that all is ready for spectators that would be rushing to watch the film in crowds, to all cinemas on one day and during the following days. But due to some unclear unexpressed reasons we could not show the film that received positive reports in Cannes and in Russia.
It is useless to indulge in remembering times when people were asking for a spare ticket to sell in front of Soviet cinemas.
But something like this could happen with "Schizo", if legal owners of the film would agree on joint actions, invest into advertising. However, one can say that there was definitely no co-operation, although it could bring both moral and financial profits.
Now it is the turn of the "Nomad", whose production is about to be completed.
By the way, during the film production it appeared that we still have good traditions, actors, makers-up, costumiers, from whom even foreign film participants were learning. For "Kazakhfilm" the film production was profitable because it brought new equipment, technologies, repair of pavilions.
The studio plans several more projects, including "Night Blues" (not a response to the Russian "Night Watch"?).
The film "Nomad" is awaited even in Russia and other states, where cinema distribution companies are ordering copies of it, so what can we say about our country where it has been made.
Won't it be interesting for Almaty and Almaty region residents to watch a local film made on historical material by Ili river with local and foreign professionals.
The day of "Nomad" premiere could become the National Cinema day, still missing from our calendars.
Or maybe the opening day of the festival that will herald a birth of new Kazakh cinema will become the Day?
Also in the "In Depth"
09.01.2013 2012 marked by multiple events in Kazakhstan