SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2019
II International Film Festival ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL starts in September.

From September 14 to 20, 2019, as part of the City Day celebration, the II International Film Festival “ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL” will be held in Almaty.

ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL is a new international film festival organized by Astana Film Fund on the initiative of the Almaty Government. The festival aims to develop the film industry of Kazakhstan, increase the public interest in cinematography and strengthen international cooperation. The festival also aims to present the cultural capital of the country – the city of Almaty as a major cultural and tourist center of Central Asia, as well as to introduce the strengths and new features of the film production industry in Kazakhstan to the world cinema community.

This year the festival will be held under the theme “Rapprochement of cultures” for 7 days at the three main venues:

  • Palace of the Republic will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the film festival, with its essential part – the red carpet;
  • Mercure Almaty City Center Hotel will host the Almaty Film District Business Forum, master classes, round tables and the Made in Almaty Scripts Competition;
  • Chaplin Cinemas will open its halls for films screenings of the in-competition and out-of-competition programs of the festival. Family films program will be also presented in cooperation with The Walt Disney Company CIS in partnership with the European Children’s Film Association, which ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL joined this year as a member. Local young film stars will walk along the red carpet.

At the opening ceremony, local and international film stars will walk along the red carpet.

The film festival main jury will include the Kazakhstani actress Samal Yeslyamova, winner of the Palme d’Or, one of the leading Russian film producers Natalya Ivanova and other foreign filmmakers.

Special guests of the festival are Anton Malyshev, director of the Abramovich Fund; Jay John, the President of the Busan International Film Festival; Felix Vanginderhusen, the Secretary General of the European Children’s Film Association; Elizaveta Shmakova, the best casting director of the Russian Federation; Nick Holdworth, a journalist of The Hollywood Reporter; Vassilis Economou, a journalist of the leading European media portal “Cineurope”; Benjamin Illos, French film critic, Cannes Film Festival programmer and many others.

As for Kazakhstani filmmakers and artists, guests of the festival are Assel Sadvakassova, singer, actress and producer; Farhat Abdraimov, actor and producer; Sanzhar Madiyev, film and TV actor; Assel Sagatova, actress; Karlygash Mukhamedzhanova, actress; Satybaldy Narymbetov, screenwriter and director; Asanali Ashimov, actor and director; Darezhan Omirbayev, screenwriter and director, and many other local film stars.

The President of the festival, Kazakhstani director Akan Satayev, comments: “The cinema of Kazakhstan is going through positive transformations. Every year, more and more viewers are interested in domestic films.

The Almaty Film Festival keeps up with the times and enables young filmmakers to put their ideas into practice. It produces new names that are interesting to our audience and become recognizable outside of Kazakhstan. This is very important for the development of culture in Kazakhstan,” said the director.

The theme of the main competition of ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL is “Rapprochement of cultures”. The competition will present 12 films of 2019 made as a co-production of two or more countries.

Out-of-competition programs will present the following sections: Women in Cinema (in cooperation with UNESCO), Family Films program (in cooperation with the European Association of Children’s Films – ECFA), the Bright Debuts program and the Winners of the Ushqyn Student Film Festival program.

Within the Special Event program, new films and film retrospectives will be presented, and gala premieres will take place.

During the closing ceremony, 5 main awards will be given in the following categories:

  • Grand Prix;
  • Best Director;
  • Best Actor;
  • Best Actress;
  • Special Jury Prize.

ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL is not only film screenings and competition, but also a global business platform. The Almaty Film District Business Forum, which will be held at the Mercure Almaty City Center Hotel during the festival, will raise topics related to cinema as one of the promising and growing business areas. At the Business Forum venues, round tables, panel discussions, master classes from leading representatives of the world film industry and from Kazakhstani filmmakers will be organized. Film industry professionals from other countries will share their experience and establish new business connections with representatives of the film industry of Kazakhstan.

For the first time, the ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL will introduce a unique Scripts  Competition “MADE IN ALMATY” where the winner will receive the full support of the project for its realization from ASTANA FILM FUND. The idea is to support young filmmakers. The mission of the competition is to give impetus to young talented filmmakers of Kazakhstan and introduce them to leading world producers, funds and festivals.

Also, prior to the festival, every Saturday in August there will be open screenings of local films together with the laboratory of urban projects “Q-lab”. Film screenings will be held in the open air on the lawn at the address: Almaty, 90 Abay Ave.

In 2019, at the ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL, a new national award “ALATAU FILM AWARDS” was established, where local commercial films, loved by the general public, will be awarded. The aim of the award is to popularize Kazakhstani films and increase their competitiveness for the country’s film distribution.

“ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL is a powerful tool for the development of domestic cinema,” said Ernar Kurmashev, general producer of the festival. “The concept of the festival is primarily aimed at the promotion of Almaty and Almaty region as a very beautiful shooting location for foreign films.

Secondly, we aim to draw the attention of both our domestic filmmakers, our authorities, and world filmmakers so that our domestic film industry starts to work correctly and systematically and, accordingly, and be developed in the right way,” commented the producer.

Visitors and guests of the film festival can freely access all the films screenings.

ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL would not have taken place without the support of the partners. We thank Air Astana, the Chaplin Cinemas chain, the Mercure Almaty City Center Hotel, Parmigiano Group, Alash Media Group and Astana Motors.


ALMATY FILM FESTIVAL 2019 in  figures:

7 days of intense program;

12 films of the main competition;

50 films of out-of-competition programs;

5 members of the main jury;

More than 50 participants of the business forum;

More than 50 international guests of the film festival (directors, producers, screenwriters);

Guests from more than 30 countries (Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Germany, UK, USA, France, China, India, South Korea, Italy, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Portugal, Singapore, Iran, Georgia, Slovakia, Japan, Latvia and other countries);

More than 50 representatives of the domestic film industry;

More than 100 journalists, bloggers;

About 5,000 guests of the film festival.