An important cultural project for Kazakhstan is the promotion of national film production.

From 1991 to 2015, Kazakhfilm, the leading film company in Central Asia, completed the production of 479 feature, documentary and animation films. Kazakhfilm has also signed Memorandums of Cooperation with the world's leading cinematographic organisations to increase Kazakhstan's global cinematic impact, including the Cinema Foundation of Russia, the National Centre for Cinematography of France, the New York Film Academy, and the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.

There are on average 12 domestic film releases per year in Kazakhstan, increasing every year, more than half of which are produced by Kazakhfilm. Beyond Kazakhfilm, there are over 30 private film studios in Kazakhstan, including Satayfilm, Eurasiafilm, Tanasis, Zhas Ulan, and MG Production.

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A viewing of Turksib wasrecently held in London in 2018, featuring the Camerata Kazakhstan orchestra

Kazakhstan's box office has grown along with its domestic releases, with around 300 releases annually, grossing $70 million. Furthermore, between 2008 and 2015, 206 Kazakh films were included in 208 festivals and international screenings in 52 countries.

Noteworthy Kazakh films include:

  • Turksib (1929): One of the first films ever shot in Kazakhstan, which has recently been restored by the British Film Institute.
  • Amangeldy (1939): The first Kazakh feature film, about the leader of the 1916 revolution, Amangeldy Imanov.
  • Kyz Zhibek (1970): One of the most popular romance films in Kazakhstan. The plot's origin is from a traditional folk poem, and the story was first performed in the theatre in 1934.
  • The Needle (1988): Known for being one of the first Kazakh new wave films, the main character is played by the famous Soviet rock musician Viktor Tsoi.
  • Nomad (2005): A historical epic film, which was Kazakhstan's official entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 79th Academy Awards.
  • Mongol (2007): A semi-historical epic film co-produced between companies in Russia, Germany and Kazakhstan. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
  • Wanted (2008): Russian-Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov has created a name for himself in Hollywood, with titles including 'Wanted' and 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter'.
  • The Old Man (2012): Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's 'The Old Man and the Sea', a Kazakhstani drama film written and directed by Ermek Tursunov.
  • Harmony Lessons (2013): A Kazakh-German film which premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the award for outstanding cinematography.
  • Kunanbai (2015): Starring the famous Kazakh actor Doskhan Zholzhaksynov, the film is about the fate of Kunanbai, the father of the great Kazakh poet Abai.
  • Tar Zaman (2018): A historical drama directed by Murat Bïdosov.
  • Amre (2018): Filmed across Latvia, the US and Kazakhstan, the film tells the story of the famous singer and musician Amre Kashaubayev, who was called 'Kazakh nugget' since he once presented the national folklore of the Kazakh people in Europe.
  • Ayka (2018): Director Sergey Dvortsevoy's documentary-drama tells the story of a young homeless single mother in Moscow. The Kazakh actress in the leading role, Samal Yeslyamova, won the best actress award at Cannes Film Festival.
  • The River (2018) is a drama film, directed by Emir Baigazin and released in 2018. The completed film premiered at the 75th Venice International Film Festival in September 2018, where Baigazin won the award for Best Director in the Horizons programme. Its second screening was in the Platform programme at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received an honourable mention from the Platform Prize jury.

There are multiple film festivals held in Kazakhstan, including the International Astana Action Film Festival, the Eurasia International Film Festival, and Shaken's Stars.

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Samal Yeslyamova recently won the best actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in 'Ayka'

Created at : 6.05.2019, 16:30, Updated at : 6.05.2019, 16:30