Award-Winning Kazakh Film Shown at London Festival

“Nagima,” a film by Kazakh director Zhanna Issabayeva, was presented during the recently completed BFI London Film Festival 2014. The heart-breaking story tells the tale of two girls who grew up in an orphanage in Almaty.


Screenshot from the Film Nagima

“This is an art house film from my perspective. The plot is about discovering dark corners of our soul, extreme feelings and emotions, as well as about overcoming ups and downs and dramas in our life,” explained Issabayeva.

The debut run of “Nagima” took place in Busan, South Korea in October 2013. The film was also awarded a grand prix during the Asian Film Festival in Deauville, France and a special prize at the Moscow International Film Festival. The Kazakh film also garnered positive reviews in Berlin and received a Fokus prize.

“‘Nagima’ is a special film, very emotional and honest. It allows us to get to know the harsh realities of an unknown country for a European audience. I was glad to watch this film at the London festival,” said Edward Lorenson, a member of the BFI organising committee.

Nagima director

Film director Zhanna Issabayeva

The 57th London Film Festival programme included about 250 films, documentaries, shorts and animated videos of all possible genres, as well as presented 16 world and European premieres. Not long ago, this festival was called “the festival of festivals,” as films presented there had already aired during other film events. However, this tradition has changed recently and the London festival is now approaching the same reputation as the Cannes, Venedig and Berlin festivals.

The Best Film 2014 award was given to “Ida,” directed by Pavel Pavlikovsky, which tells the story of the occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany during World War II.

The Kazakh premier of “Nagima” will close the Nov. 6-9 Clique youth film festival, the first festival of its kind in Almaty.

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