Kazakh Movie Wins Award at LA Asian Pacific Film Festival 2024

ASTANA – Kazakh film “Madina” received a Special Recognition award at the 40th edition of the Visual Communications (VC) Film Fest/Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, as reported by the festival’s press service on May 16.

Photo credit: IMDb

Directed by Aizhan Kassymbek and featuring an all-woman crew, the movie delves into the oppressed lived experiences of its lead actress and other resilient Kazakh women, aiming to bring visibility and spark change within the Kazakh community.

The jury noted, “The film is equally tender as it is powerful, and we look forward to more from this team.”

The movie is partly based on the true story of lead actress Madina Akylbekova, who also received a Special Recognition for Performance. The film tells the story of a single mother raising her young daughter, caring for her younger brother, and looking after her own mother. Madina teaches dance to children and adults by day and works as a dancer at events by night. She spends breaks between shifts with her family, tackling their various problems.

“This actress gave a tremendous performance, bringing to the big screen glimpses of her own lived experience as a single mother who struggles to balance her career as a dancer with taking care of her old grandmother and her two-year-old daughter. Madina Akylbek’s performance, even alongside her own child, illuminates her resilience and courage to tell the truth,” the jury added.

The VC Film Fest is the largest film festival in Southern California and is dedicated to showcasing films by and about Asians and Pacific Islanders worldwide. It features approximately 150 films and media works celebrating Asian Pacific filmmakers and their stories.

At the end of 2023, “Madina” was screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival as part of the Asian Future program. It was one of two Kazakh films featured at the festival, alongside “Bauyryna Salu” (Parenting) by Askhat Kuchinchirekov.

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