Kazakh Film Inspired by Hemingway Nominated for Nika Award

ShalAccording to the Kazakhfilm press office, the Kazakhstan movie “Shal,” which was inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea,” has been nominated for best movie in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Baltic States at Nika 2014. The movie is directed by Yermek Tursunov, the acclaimed director who is renowned for his previous movie “Kelin.”

“An additional four films were nominated for the award: “Capitalism at the Cross Roads,” directed by Ivars Seletskis (Latvia), “Passion,” directed by Temir Birnazarov (Kyrgyzstan), “Haytarma” directed by Ahtem Seytablayev (Ukraine) and “Excursionist,” directed by Audrius Yuzenas (Lithuania).

The best film in the CIS and Baltic States award has been given since the 16th Nika Award Ceremony in 2003.

“Shal” is not the first movie produced in Kazakhstan nominated for this award. Earlier, these Kazakhfilm movies were included on the list of nominees: “Prayer of Leila” directed by Satybaldy Narymbetov, “Renaissance Island” directed by Rustem Abdrashev, “Notes of a Wayman” directed by Zhanabek Zhetiruov, “Swift” directed by Abai Kulbayev, “Farewell, Gulsary” directed by Ardak Amirkulov and “The Gift to Stalin” directed by Rustem Abdrashev. However, the award was received only once by Serik Aprymov in 2005 for his film “The Hunter.”

Nika is a national film award, established by the Nika Russian Academy of Motion Picture Arts. Its first award ceremony took place in 1988. Prize winners are awarded statuettes of the winged Greek goddess Nike. Winners are chosen during a secret ballot voting session by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts, which includes representatives of all cinematic specialties from the regional offices of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia. In 2013, renowned Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky became President of the Russian Academy of Motion Picture Arts. The founder and artistic director of the award is Yuli Gusman.

The 27th National Awarding Ceremony Nika for 2013 will be held April 1, 2014 at the Moscow State Academic Operetta Theatre.

“Shal” is based on the famous novel by Ernest Hemingway, “The Old Man and the Sea” and tells the story of a family consisting of an old man, a daughter-in-law and a grandson, who live on a remote steppe.

The film was released on Oct. 11, 2012. In October 2013, the film was submitted for the best foreign-language Oscar. In November 2013, Shal was nominated for an annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) in two categories: “Best Actor” and “Best Cinematography.” In February, the film took part in the main competition of the World Panorama of the 32nd International Film Festival Fair in Iran and received a prize for outstanding technical and artistic achievement.

“Shal” has been presented at different international film festivals all over the world, including the 3rd Beijing International Film Festival, the Moscow International Film Festival and the 25th International Film Festival in Palm Springs in the U.S.

The film was named Kazakhstan’s best movie of 2013. It was also awarded first place at the Kinoshock festival and starring actor Yerbolat Toguzakov won the best male actor award.

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