ASTANA – The 2017 American adaptation of “Diamond Cartel,” directed by Kazakh filmmaker Salamat Mukhammed-Ali, will premiere in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia for the first time in the nation’s cinema history.
“After a successful release of our ‘The whole world is at our feet’ film in Kazakhstan, American distributors offered to bring it to an American release. Our film received a new international title ‘Diamond Cartel’,” Mukhammed-Ali told The Astana Times.
The premiere will be held March 24 in Los Angeles and New York. The film features stars including Armand Assante, the late Peter O’Toole, Michael Madsen, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Tommy Lister, Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Oliver Gruner and Bolo Yeung.
The movie is being promoted by global film industry personalities such as Hollywood legend Gray Frederickson, the Oscar and Emmy-winning American producer responsible for the three Godfather films. It is also receiving support from renowned U.S. producers Peter Zhmutski and Gamal Diab, European producer Pavel Nyziak and Anara Musrepova (artistic nickname Anarelle Mus), the well-known French producer and head of the International Transcontinental Corporation of Innovation Technologies office in Europe and America.
The film’s prospects are “marvellous,” said Musrepova, as it is the first Kazakh movie to hit such a large number of screens.
“The occasion is remarkable both for Kazakhstan and the global film society. As far as I know, this is the first time a film of such scale has been made inside the Commonwealth of Independent States. Mukhammed-Ali’s work exceeded all expectations; he has shown professionalism and his ability to work in a big team,” she said in her interview with the paper. “Our film entered the history of world cinema. It so happens that this is the last film where legendary actor, winner of Golden Globe Awards and Oscar nominee Peter O’Toole played.”
Western distributors breathed new life into the film two years after it was released in Kazakh cinemas, she added.
“It opens the first page of the Kazakh country in the world cinema of the U.S. The Sony Company improved the sound,” she noted.
Mukhammed-Ali’s creative career began in 1991 when, as a lead singer, he founded the rock band Epoch. He left the music industry after being offered a technical director position at the National Television Network, directing music videos for the nation’s top artists like Makpal Zhunisova, Myra Ilyasova and Dinara Kyrkybaeva. He was also a producer and director for national commercials and public service announcements, according to imdb.com.
Mukhammed-Ali currently has four film projects to be made in America with worldwide starts, although he cannot disclose information on these projects until the production has ended.
He shared some of his ‘’unforgettable’’ impressions from working with foreign actors. Bolo Yeung, who plays the main character’s bodyguard, approached him one day on the set.
“The great Chinese film actor and martial arts master holds out a kitten for me and says ‘Salamat, I very much want to devote my role to my friend Bruce Lee. Lee fights Chuck Norris in his The Way of the Dragon film and a cat watches their battle.’ I shivered; everything got mixed up in my head – Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Bolo Yeung, Serik Bimurzin, a kitten and 100 people on set. I took this grey, fluffy lump and confirmed the kitten in the role of observer of the fight scene between the Chinese master and a Kazakh member of the Mafia. The kitten coped with his role first-class. Bolo Yeung remained pleased, while I had warm memories of this bright moment in my life kept with me,” he said.
Mukhammed-Ali also had a message for his fans.
“Believe sincerely in what you do and you are bound to succeed. The point is that the energy of your confidence is passed onto other people. Keep up your spirits. By having faith, you will reach your goal one day,” he said.