From the 4th Eurasia International Film Festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan
When Chengiz Aytmatov went onstage in the spacious Palace of the Republic in Almaty at the
closing gala of the 4th Eurasia International Film Festival (23-29 September 2007) to receive
an honorary award from the Kazakh government, he was greeted with a standing ovation. And,
indeed, the applause was well deserved.
gifted storyteller whose heartrending novella Jamila (published in 1958) was praised by
Louis Aragon as “the world’s most beautiful love story,” but also as the first Kyrgys
Ambassador to Luxembourg and the European Union in Brussels.
Aytmatov was appointed head of the Kyrgyzfilm Studio in Frunze (today Biskek), he fostered
there a path-breaking “director’s cinema” that helped revolutionize Soviet cinematography
altogether.How Chengiz Aytmatov accomplished this rather extraordinary feat still
meant sustaining a fading nomadic culture while fostering a native film tradition.
and the Steppes, and backed by a film studio ready and willing to do his bidding,
Chengiz Aytmatov had invited a talented 22-year-old student from the Moscow
Film School (VGIK) to direct the studio’s first film production.
in the Tales of the Mountains and the Steppes collection. Aytmatov liked it and invited
her to shoot the film on actual locations in Kyrgyzstan. Upon completion her
Heat (1963) seemed assured of instant success with the Central Asian public
by the very fact that this was the first production of its kind. But it hardly sat well
with the Soviet censors in Moscow for any number of reasons. Aytmatov, however,
as the film’s responsible producer, had held a hidden card up his sleeve.
realism, he arranged for the film to be shown first at the 1963 Festival of Central
Asian Films in Dushambe, the capital of neighboring Tajikistan. There, as expected,
a release certificate was granted, and the film cleared for exhibition at least in the
Central Asian republics, if not throughout the Soviet Union.
at the First All-Union Soviet Film Festival in Leningrad, where it was awarded the
Prize for Best Direction. That same year, Heat was invited to the Karlovy Vary
International Film Festival, where the film and Kyrgys cinema were each hailed
as a phenomenon on the world film stage.
festival, Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, her colleague at the Moscow Film
School, also journeyed to Kyrgyzstan to direct his first feature film. And, of
course, Konchalovsky’s The First Teacher (1964) was based on another
Chengiz Aytmatov story, published under the same title in 1962.
1966 Venice International Film Festival, Natalya Arinbasarova, in the role
of the “first teacher,” was awarded the Volpi Prize for Best Actress. It was
the second major Soviet film success at Venice, following a share of the
Golden Lion awarded to Andrei Tarkovsky’s Ivan’s Childhood in 1962.
Soviet Directors” were to make the phrase a catchword at international
film festivals — thanks to the foresight of writer-producer Chengiz Aytmatov.
4. EUREASIA C. A. EFSANESİ-RON HOLLOWAY
4. AVRASYA ULUSLARARASI FİLM FESTİVALİ