28 April 2019
Today, a press conference with the directors of short feature films shortlisted for the 15th Kazan Muslim Film Festival was held in Riviera Complex. The participants of the press conference included the director of the film ‘Brother’ (Malaysia, Taiwan) Chia Sien Low; the second director and screenwriter of the film ‘Asan’ (Kazakhstan) Fariza Zakhanova, and a member of the film crew ‘Slaughter’ (Iran) Aliriza Khodaybozorgi.
The press conference started with the brief introduction of the films: the ‘Brother’ represents a story of the relations between two non-biological brothers of different races. Despite the misunderstanding, they manage to find a common language and overcome racial barriers. ‘In my film, I wanted to show the lives of people in Malaysia, where three races coexist. There are conflicts, misunderstandings and issues in communications between them’, commented Chia Xien Low.
‘Slaughter’ is based on the story of a simple village family, which owns only one cow. The head of the family is forced to sell it to feed his family. Upset by such a decision, his son born with Down syndrome, lets the cow free to save it from this sad fate. ‘We selected this topic as we wanted to show to Iranian people and the whole world how life in distant villages goes on. In big cities, it is hard to have an idea on how people survive in the villages, what kind of lifestyle they have’, said Aliriza Khodaybozorgi.
‘Asan’ directed by Berik Zhakhanov, tells a story of a 17-year-old boy, who goes to the funeral of his father. He did not forgive him for leaving his family. But the situation transforms into an impetus for the hero to change. ‘This film reflects the feelings of the director himself and the memories of how he lost his father’, shared Fariza Zhahanova.
Answering the questions of the journalists, the directors spoke about how their projects are supported at the state level. Aliriza Khodaybozorgi said that in Iran the state budget is allocated mainly for full-length works.
In Kazakhstan, according to Fariza Zhakhanova, directors have an opportunity to receive a state support for short films: ‘We also have directors who start to raise funds for their films independently to participate in film festivals. We call it partisan cinematography’.
In Malaysia, according to Chia Sien Lo, short films are lacking funding support from the state level. However, the government of Taiwan is funding documentary short and full-length films.
‘I would like to mention that short films are a separate and independent type of arts. It is not always a bridge to full-length films, as some issues might be successfully presented only in this format’, added Aliriza Khodaybozorgi.