Central Asian Cinema Forum

Central Asian Cinema Forum

June 14, 2022

TCMA, with the administrative and financial support of CASI, will hold a forum on Central Asian Cinema from 18-20 June to showcase the skilled filmmakers currently working at AUCA and to impart lessons of theory and practice to student filmmakers in the Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia.

Nurzhamal Karamoldoeva, an accomplished filmmaker in TCMA, is organizing the forum. Nurzhamal is a director of fictional works and documentaries like “Oasis,” her environmental study of the Bishkek Elm grove, and “Madrasah,” a film on religious education in Kyrgyzstan which won the Best National Film award at the XV “Bir duino” International Film Festival on Human rights.

A series of local scholars will illuminate the distinctive contours of Central Asian film at the forum, with Gulnara Abikeeva discussing the film industry in Kazakhstan and Kasym Orozbaev examining issues of authority and authenticity in Central Asian cinema. Erke Dzhumakhmatova will discuss film in the local, Kyrgyz context while Sharofat Arabova will assess the impact of the pandemic on filmmaking in Tajikistan. Talant Tolobekov will add his own ideas, exploring the themes defining the contemporary cinematic landscape in Central Asia. Showcasing local directors and film critics, the forum also boasts a roster of established international scholars who will provide talks and presentations. These include Oxana Sarkisova, a scholar of Soviet era film from CEU and the author of Screening Soviet Nationalities, as well as Sean Homer, a professor of film and literature at the American University in Bulgaria who will deliver a presentation on engaging cultural trauma through cinema. Birgit Beumers, an emeritus professor at Aberystwyth University, will give a talk on film criticism, imparting to AUCA faculty and students her experience as an editor of the journals KinoKultura and Studies in Russian & Soviet Cinema. Hong Sangwoo, a professor in Russian studies at Gyeongsang National University, will discuss the development and impact of South Korean cinema, while Bojidar Manov, a member of the National Film Board in Bulgaria and ex Vice- President of FIPRESCI (International Association of Film Critics), will examine the skills required to be an effective film critic. The Hannah Arendt Humanities Network of OSUN was generous enough to provide funding for the travel and accommodations of two of these scholars.

Chingiz Shamshiev, AUCA’s VPCOO, will provide introductory remarks to the event. His preface is particularly apt given the role his father, Bolot Shamshiev, played in shaping Central Asian cinema and Kyrgyz film. That role will be further honored with a premiere screening of Marat Sarulu’s documentary on Bolot Shamshiev, “Walnut forest ghosts Postcriptum.”

Zanre Reed, a faculty in TCMA, will moderate screenings of select AUCA student and faculty films as part of the forum to highlight the university’s concentration of talent in the field.

CASI, which collaborated with TCMA and its chair, Lauren McConnell, in organizing the event, is supporting the Central Asian Cinema Forum as a part of its broader effort to bolster the humanities in Central Asia and out of a commitment to build workshops around the expertise of AUCA faculty and put their contributions to the Central Asian arts in relief.


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