The short-list of XVII Kazan International Muslim Film Festival is announced
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The short-list of XVII Kazan International Muslim Film Festival is announced

2 July 2021

The short list of XVII Kazan International Muslim Film Festival includes 50 films in 5 nominations: full-length feature films, short-length feature films, full-length documentaries, short-length documentaries and nomination created in 2017 to support cinematographers of Tatarstan – national competition. The full list of the participants is published here:

In total 592 applications from 45 countries of the world were received for the competition this year.

The festival will present films from such countries as Russia, France, Spain, China, Turkey, Belgium, Japan, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Pakistan, Malaysia, Tunisia, Bulgaria, Qatar, Kuwait, Estonia, Bangladesh and Algeria. As well as from the states of the former USSR (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan).

Chairman of the Selection Committee of the XVII KIMFF Gulnara Abikeeva added that she was pleasantly surprised to know that there are a lot of national films shot in Tatarstan, the greater part of which are in Tatar language: Each competitional program includes one Tatar film. In full-length feature competition there’s a film named “Isenmesez?” (traditional Tatar greeting form, which is literally translated as “Are you alive?”), directed by Ildar Yagafarov. It such a powerful, national, uniting film that I would be happy if it was shot in Kazakhstan. No less interesting is short-length feature film “Fighting fish” directed by Sergey Bataev, who says that his full-length film should be of a good quality. And documentary “Beruze” (translated as “Alone”) directed by Bulat Minkin, in my opinion, is an example of historical reconstruction. All these prove that Tatar cinema is gaining strength. For now it is a bit traditional, but the youth is gaining strength”.

Generally, in her opinion, this year we have a very interesting competition program of full-length films. These are stories of crossing the borders, lives in life in a borderline state, acceptance or rejection of strange. On the one hand, the Bulgarian project “Fear” by Ivaylo Khristov telling us about African refugee, a doctor by education, who is literally stuck in Bulgarian village, on the other hand, there is a Japanese project “To the Ends of the Earth” directed by Kiesha Kurosava which is about the way Japanese TV group was shooting a film in Uzbekistan.

“It’s like circles on the water. Firstly a big East-West circle, when people and concepts, that are very far from each other meet. Then the circle narrows: people cross the borders. This is a very strong Israeli-French film " Abu Omar" by Roy Crispel about how a Palestinian with a dead young son is trying to return home after unsuccessful treatment of the boy”, - pointed Gulnara Abikeeva.


It is traditional that a lot of films from Iran, Turkey are sent to Kazan taking into consideration that this is Muslim film festival. Thus, Turkish film “Brother’s Keeper” by Ferit Karakhan is very interesting. Some films raise problems of historical memory. Such one is “A Siege Diary” by Andrew Zaitsev. The region of Central Asia is traditionally well presented by films from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan.

“Festivals also should reveal new names, and if lucky, new cinematography as well. We are lucky: we, the Selection Committee consisting of International experts like Svetlana Slapke from Germany, Nina Kochelyaeva from Russia and I, noticed that Azerbaijanian cinematography is a progressive one. And it is not just a single film, but a wave of interesting intellectual films, the one of which will be shown in the competition”, - said the Chairman of the Selection Committee.

Generally, in her opinion, the program of the festival is strong and original.

We remind that the application campaign started February, 1 and finished June, 1. The selective Committee is headed by Kazakh film expert and film critic Gulnara Abikeeva. In her interview she noted that Kazan Muslim Film Festival has its prestige and special place. She admitted that it was not easy to select competition, as “all the works are strong and the geography is wide – the Eurasian continent”.

The large-scale film forum will take place in Kazan from September 5 to 10 with the support of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov in the partnership of the strategic vision group "Russia – the Islamic World".