Astana Hosts Presentation of Media Project Dedicated to Kazakh Cinema

ASTANA – Astana hosted the presentation of Zaman.Media project dedicated to Kazakh cinema’s history on Aug. 25. The project features a website containing biographies, films, rare photos, books, manuscripts, video and audio materials – everything that will help the public learn more about the nation’s cinema industry. 

Photo credit: Zaman.Media.

Yevgeny Lumpov, head of the Zaman.Media project, clarified in an interview before the presentation that the project aims to make the heritage of Kazakh cinema accessible to all.

“We just want that anyone wondering about the director, screenwriter, film, or sound engineer, could visit one specific resource, enter the desired surname into the search, and get sufficient information,” said Lumpov.

According to him, there are plenty of white spots in the Kazakh cinema.

Photo credit: Zaman.Media.

“There’s a pantheon of masters that everyone knows about (…), but there’s a huge number of people who are left out of it, and now they’re the focus of our attention at this stage of the project. We want first of all to work with these white spots,” said Lumpov.

He mentioned that the website will provide information about all kinds of movies – documentary, animated, short and full-length.

The project will also have a YouTube channel where videos found during the research will be published.

Photo credit: Zaman.Media.

According to Lumpov, the team spends much time working with archives – mainly private ones, including those that are outside Kazakhstan.

 “Often people want to take care of the legacy of their relatives, but hands do not reach – there is no time or possibility to digitize anything… We say, here we have this resource, we are ready to come, digitize, return back, just give us your consent, we publish it openly, we pay nothing and make nothing,” Lumpov explained.

Previously, there was almost no open data about Kalykbek Salykov, director of the well-known movie “Balcon.” The team found his son, who was ready to share information. 

The idea of the project came in 2018 after the team returned the movie by Mazhit Begalin from the State Film Fund of the Russian Federation to Kazakhstan. The implementation of the project became possible with the grant support of the Nursultan Nazarbayev Foundation, received in the autumn of 2022.

Photo credit: Zaman.Media.

“We began to receive many messages from ordinary Kazakh viewers with requests to find this or that movie, find information about this or that creator – director, artist, actor, cinematographer. It turned out that not everything is openly available,” said Lumpov.

Lumpov spoke about four project phases sequenced in chronological order. The first phase starts in the Soviet period of Kazakh cinema, and the final one finishes in our days.  

Zaman.Media also plans to launch its own laboratory to digitize content found while researching.

The screening of the short film “Domby and Son” – a graduate work of students of VGIK in 1946, closed the presentation. One of the roles in the film was performed by the famous Kazakh actress Leila Galimzhanova. 

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