ALMATY – As Kazakhstan marks the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, Kazakhfilm is preparing to start filming a new historical drama series titled “Kazakh Yeli.”
“The project has been under development for quite a long time. There have been ongoing talks on the need to shoot this type of historical work. As we celebrate the 550th anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate, this idea has matured. The film series will be a chronicle of Kazakh history from 1465 when the Kazakh Khanate was founded,” said Deputy Head of Kazakhfilm Arman Assenov during a press conference earlier in March.
Timur Zhaksylykov and Smagul Yelubai are the two scriptwriters who are currently crafting the series’ complex characters, designing plot twists, fact-checking and ensuring that the future masterpiece is historically accurate. Yelubai, in his interview with Radio Azzatyq, said that the script will be heavily based on the first book of Ilyas Esenberlin’s famous trilogy titled “Nomads.”
One of the film directors, Rustem Adbrashev, in an interview with KTK, promised that the series will be a highly artistic drama featuring realistic massive battle scenes, lavish costumes and compelling props. He also says that the series will be based on two basic story lines. The central idea of the first story line will be a struggle for power and dynastic conflict, depicted through the evolution of the khans and sultans. A parallel story line will be a narrative of akyns and zhyraus (singer-narrators), inspired by Asan Khaigy, a legendary poet and philosopher, who witnessed and described the major events that took place during the formation of the Kazakh Khanate.
The series will begin with the arrival of Kazakh nomads led by Zhanibek and Kerei in Moghulistan, in the Eastern Chagatai Khanate. The events will unfold in the middle of the XV Century in Eurasia, where after the collapse of the Golden Horde, several independent khanates were formed. One of them, the White Horde (Ak Orda) occupied what is now Kazakhstan. However, after the death of Barak Khan in 1428, the White Horde Khanate split into Abilkhair Khan dominion and the Nogai Horde. Dissatisfied with the rigid policies of Abilkhair Khan, several nomadic tribes led by Sultans Zhanibek and Kerei migrated to Moghulistan, which is located between the rivers Shu and Talas to later create an independent state called the Kazakh Khanate.
Ten installments of the series will be made in the Kazakh language. The Almaty region was selected as the main filming location. Filming begins in June, reported inform.kz. Currently, auditions are open to local actors and casting is under way. According to Assenov, all leading parts will be played by Kazakhactors.
The series is scheduled for release on Dec. 16, the Independence Day of Kazakhstan.