National Competition: Cartoon from Russian Book of Records and the History of Qur'an
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National Competition: Cartoon from Russian Book of Records and the History of Qur'an

10 September 2018

The press conference with the creative teams of 5 animation and feature films participating in the National Competition nomination of the competition programme of the 14th Kazan Muslim Film Festival was held today in the press-centre. The participants of the press conferences discussed production and distribution issues in Tatarstan.

Earlier, there was another press-conference with the participants of the

National Competition programme.


Gulnazek: The Winner of Divas inspired by a Tatar fairy tale was presented by its director Elena Ermolina and producer Svetlana Bukharaeva. ‘I intended to choose a non-banal Tatar fairy tale for the animation. This is a story about a man, who wins using his cunning and dexterity. It is quite typical for any fairy tale, but from a Tatar point of view this story looks a bit different’, commented Svetlana Bukharayeva. The 13-minute picture was made in the traditional technique of manual re-laying. 'All characters were sounded by a people's artist of Tatarstan Ildus Gabdrakhmanov. The film has just left the editing table and we were nervous about the reaction of people. However, we would say that the audience of the Kazan Muslim Film Festival welcomed it well. Unfortunately, I don’t see any opportunity for the further distribution of the animation. Although, if we would have one, we would be quite happy. Perhaps, we would be able to show it at TV channels, on the Internet. We would definitely participate in other film festivals. I think that the International Film Festivals Directors Forum forum held within the framework of the festival could change the situation for our films distribution, extending the distribution boundaries outside of Tatarstan', said Svetlana Bukharaeva.


The director of another animation Age of Tatarstan, the head of the TatarMultfilm Sergey Kiatrov said that the drawings of 1845 children were used as the basis for the animation: 'Our authors are registered in the Russian Book of Records. The drawings are devoted to the heraldry of cities and districts of Tatarstan'.


Triptych, a short film about a rural Orthodox Church, was presented by its director Zufar Khairullin: ‘We could say that the film is Orthodox. However, at the same time, this film does not bring any propaganda. Three characters live in the same village, they go to the same temple, each of them believes in God on their own ways, bringing a piece of light to the world'.


The director and screenwriter of Five Answers to the Bottom short film, Rudolf Khainurov considers his work as an example of the cinematograph of diaologue: 'The script of the film is written as a play. The film itself is a dialogue between two unfamiliar men, who have nothing in common except falling in love with the same woman. The main idea of the film is that regardless circumstance and conflicts of interests, there is always a space to talk’.


An actor Alexey Popovich spoke about the film by Amir Gataullin, "Quran from Sending Down till Publication In Kazan": 'It took a long time to start the work on this film… We studied historic documents and artefacts in various heritage sites. As Kamil Samigullin, the mufti of the Republic of Tatarstan, says, we read books only for reading Quran’.


The participants of the press conference discussed the issues of film production in Tatarstan and non-festival track for their films. ‘The main difficulty is a lack of funding allocated for non-commercial cinematograph. As a result, we are searching for people supporting the idea and ready to work for free for several months. the need to look for people willing to work on the film for the idea for several month.I think, in Tatarstan, we need a fresh vision, new solutions, courage and films targeted to the youth’, said Rudolf Khainurov. Svetlana Bukharayeva supported him adding that emerging Tatarstan filmmakers, coming from underfunded student film production background, need a breakthrough to enter the professional field. This requires special funding.

Alexey Popovich highlighted that every film might have its own audience, providing the example of Yakut film industry, where half of the rental is produced by the local filmmakers: 'I wish our films find their audience with the same way. I hope that we could say the same about the phenomenon of Tatarstan cinematograph in the future.


Svetlana Bukharayeva mentioned that it is a great misconception that films shot in Tatarstan should cover regional or religious topics: 'I think we should enter Russian market via producing a nice film close to many people. This way might open new professional opportunities for Tatarstan’. of Tatarstan cinema’. Zufar Khairullin added that 'Tatarstan cinematograph is still emerging. It is difficult to find any development points, any vision for future development. However, it is clear that it is necessary to broaden the themes of films, as the quality is the most important in this context’.

Sergey Kiatrov did not agree with the opinions of his colleagues, giving the example of a national cinematograph that reached international level: 'If we consider Indian cinematograph with traditional songs and dances, it anyway has a huge audience. I believe that we can also shoot the films, to say it roughly, on ‘tubeteikas and warps’, and we will be still able to go outside of the boundaries of Tatarstan’, he concluded.

The photo report of the event is available here