ASTANA – Kazakh film “The Rat” directed by Zhantemir Baimukhamedov won awards at five international film festivals in Brazil, Macau, Malta, Scotland, and Russia, reported Jibek Joly TV channel on Feb. 21.
The film won a Grand Prix at the 60th anniversary edition of the Golden Knight International Short Film Festival in Malta, competing with over 300 participants from more than 60 countries.
The second Grand Prix was awarded at the Kinomysh International Short Films Festival in Russia.
The jury of the International Short Film Festival in Macau also gave “The Rat” an award for the best feature film.
The Kazakh feature was among the top three winners at the Scottish Short Film Festival, while the European Future of Film Awards honoured the film with an honourable mention.
“The film caught the European viewer’s attention as our country is a terra incognita – an unfamiliar land. This film is also abundant with the concept of humanism, which Europe values greatly,” Baimukhamedov said.
The notion of humanism is ubiquitous in the film, as the storyline narrates the friendship between a man and a rat.
“The main character in the film states he has never been treated as well as rats are treated. This statement and the overall theme likely drew worldwide interest and made the film a source of enjoyment for many,” the filmmaker added.
The film is based on a true story that took place in the 1980s.
“I have been nurturing the idea of this film for a long time since my school years when my mother read me a story about the unusual friendship between a man and a rat, published in the Leninskaya Smena newspaper,” Baimukhamedov said.
The movie starred a real rat.
“Our main character is Lucy. A wonderful, beautiful animal who did a great job,” Baimukhamedov said.
The Kazakh filmmaker is currently working on a comedy web series production and negotiating on film production in Spain as a guest director.