The EURASIA Film Festival in Almaty has commemorated the 100th anniversary of film director and actor Shaken Aimanov.
Aimanov is considered Kazakhstan’s most iconic director and actor. He is known as the father of Kazakh cinematography. The festival payed tribute to him with a retrospective of his work.
During the film festival in Almaty a DVD collection and a book about Aimanov was presented. This was an opportunity for former collaboraters to remember the man who is seen as a national treasure.
Kazhakh actor, Asanali Ashimov worked on the 1970 film ‘The End of the Ataman’ with Aimanov.
“First of all he was a stage director and actor. So he knew the language of cinema and acting. On the set everything had to be natural and authentic, that was his credo,” he said.
The 1966 film ‘The Land of The Fathers’ is regarded Aimanov’s best work. Murat Akhmadiev was a young teenager when he was cast for the first and only role of his film career.
“He wanted all film crew to be like a family so we have never thought of him as a film director, he was the head of the family and he made us all united as a family. He explained what he wanted us to do precisely and gently.”
A new documentary about Shaken Aimanov was also premiered at the film festival. Filmmaker Bolat Nusimbekov collected rare archive material from Russian and Kazakh archives and spoke to people who worked with him.
He said: “He brought all nationalities together through his work. Today he would do the same and gather people together like it used to be in Soviet times when there were Jews, Russians, Kazakhs and of course Usbeks working in our film studio. Was he an arrogant star? Not at all.”
The first shooting in Kazakhstan goes back to the late nineteen thirties, when the studios in Almaty produced mostly propaganda films for the Soviet Union.
In 1984 the Kazakhfilm Studios were named after Shaken Aimanov.
With the introduction of perestroika in the Soviet Union a new wave of young Kazakh filmmakers emerged.
Today the Kazakh film industry continues to grow. Last year around 10 films were released, amongst them was Kazakhstans first 3D feature animation – Yer Tostik and Aidahar 3D – and epic historical drama, Myn Bala.