“Assan” short feature and “Ancestors’ Heritage” documentary directed by Berik Zhakhanov were screened in US. Both pictures were made by ‘Kazakhfilm” studios due to Ministry of Culture and Sport’s order.
The films were screened within the creative workshop given by director Zhakhanov at the Dickinson college in city of Carlisle, Pennsylvania within the period of 6 to 20 of October this year. The college was founded in 1773 what makes it the oldest educational facility of US. The founder was Mr.Benjamin Rush, a public figure who was among those who had signed the American Declaration of Independence.
The workshop was initiated by the Associate professor of the Dickinson college, PhD Mrs. Alice DeBlasio.
- There were lots of students deeply interested in Kazakh cinema. I felt the highest responsibility as I was representing my home country there. My picture “Assan” inspired a continued discussion. Each film discussion took for about 40-50 minutes. They also loved the “Ancestors’ Heritage” documentary. Students were very much interested in Uzbek people’s everyday life and their craft, the making of “besik”, - said Berik Zhakhanov.
Besides, Zhakhanov helped the students of Dickinson to make a film of their own script. He also showed them how to edit it.
“Assan” film tells the story of a young boy going to attend his long unseen father’s funeral. The picture screened last year at Short Film Corner of 71st Cannes Film Festival. Also in 2018 and 2019 the film won several awards of various international film festivals.
The “Ancestors’ Heritage” documentary is a part of “Turcic peoples of Kazakhstan” series. The series is dedicated to Turcic ethnicities that inhabit multinational Kazakhstan. Zhakhanov’s film tells about the Uzbek citizens of KZ and the story of a 47-year-old Abdimanopp Zuparov who continues the art&craft of his ancestors making “besik” (a cradle). This documentary also screened as part of many international festivals’ lineups and won several awards.
Berik Zhakhanov is a scriptwriter and a filmmaker. A KazNAI named after T.Zhurghenov graduate with major in “Film Directing”. Directed a number of short features: «To Have and to Lose» (2012), “Soul” (2013), “Me and You” (2014), “Deceit” (2015), “Ellipsis” (2016), “Yerkek” (2017), “Assan” (2017) and a documentary, ““Ancestors’ Heritage” (2018).