ASTANA – The well-known Kazakhstan’s and Dutch director Peter Berman is to begin shooting a television series titled “The Olympians.” The series will focus on the stories of three friends, Ilya, Sasha and Serik, whose prototypes are Olympic champions Ilya Ilyin, Alexander Vinokourov and Serik Sapiyev. Ilya Ilyin has already agreed to take part in the filming; Alexander Vinokourov’s son may play the role of his father. The director is planning to invite the famous actor Jackie Chan and other foreign stars to be part of the production.
Last year, Berman visited the United States to sign a new contract with a Hollywood company that plans to make movie based on Berman’s book “Hard Loop,” which became a bestseller in the U.S. and the Netherlands in 2011. The film will tell the story of a young boxer who is seriously injured. His grandmother treats him and imbues him with her own psychic abilities; later, he is educated by a Chinese master of martial arts. The boy grows up to be a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter.
Berman knows the fighting world from the inside: he moved to the Netherlands, the home of his ancestors, to compete on the professional MMA circuit. Seriously injured after three years, he left professional fighting behind, but he still takes part in competitions for veterans.
Many of his fans think that his book, “The Ultimate Fighting,” is autobiographical. Mosfilm wrote a series based on this book, but the Hollywood company Golden Films bought the project and made a movie out of a few of its stories. Filming took place in the Netherlands, India, Japan, France and China. The story is of a young fighter who worked for the exploration of one of the Asian countries of the former Soviet Union.
Berman is an honoured coach of Kazakhstan, famous athlete, writer and producer. He writes books and makes films about sports, including Kazakhstan’s sports and athletes. His first book, “Mr. Aikido,” told the story of an athlete who had been raised in an orphanage and was written in collaboration with famous Russian television journalist Vladislav Listyev. His second book, “Knockout,” was made into a film in Europe and explored the lives of Soviet actors and sportsmen who did not return to their country
In 2009, the documentary “Astana Team: Chasing the Leader,” based on Berman’s book “Lie and Truth of the Great Loop” premiered in the Netherlands. In Kazakhstan, the film was presented at the Eurasia International Film Festival in 2010. Berman has directed several documentaries about Alexander Vinokourov and other Kazakhstan’s athletes, including the comic documentary “Sport Through Laughter and Tears.”
As head of the International Foundation for the Protection of Athletes’ Rights, Berman actively supported Kazakhstan’s cyclist Alexander Vinokourov when he was accused of violating competition rules.