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Kazakh cinema is gaining recognition this autumn, with three highly regarded films nominated for the 16th Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in Gold Coast, Australia on November 3. Furthermore, other Kazakh films highlighting nuclear tests and women’s rights will debut at international film festivals in Busan and Tokyo.
Kazakh cinema at international festivals share untold stories and offer a glimpse into the dynamism of Kazakh society and history, transcending borders for a global audience.
Kazakh cinema shines at APSA with three films. “QASH” by Aisultan Seitov competes for Best Cinematography and Best Film awards, telling the story of the Kazakh famine. Askhat Kuchinchirekov’s “Bauryna Salu” competes in the Best Youth Film category, while Darkhan Tulegenov’s “Brothers” vies for the Best Director title. These films share important local stories on the global stage, transcending borders.
Kenzhebek Shaikakov’s “Aikai” (Scream), highlighting the victims of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, premiered at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. It wasn’t in the primary competition but stood out as the sole Central Asian film among 30. The film educates the audience about Kazakhstan’s nuclear testing history, a subject largely unknown in South Korea. The director used real accounts to depict the events and convey the shared experiences of nuclear bombings and tests in Asia.