The XV Tashkent International Film Festival "Pearl of the Silk Road" closing ceremony was held in the "Eternal City" in Samarkand.
The event became a real holiday for guests and participants. The venue of Samarkand "Coliseum" for one evening became a stage for colorful performances of Bravo orchestra with a medley of soundtracks from famous films, a group of doirists, Artist of Uzbekistan Jenisbek Piyazov, and others. However, the intrigue of the day was still the awarding of the main culprits of the celebration - the winners and laureates honored within the framework of the film festival.
"Eternal City" has previously hosted large-scale conferences and meetings with the participation of leaders of different countries, and international delegations, and now it has become a center of attraction for cinematographers from Uzbekistan and foreign specialists.
Stars of Uzbek and world cinema, famous actors and directors, producers, and scriptwriters walked the red carpet. According to movie genres, the closing ceremony began with a spectacular video. After the solemn part, Oscar and Golden Globe winner Kevin Spacey took the stage. The U.S. actor had given a master class with a full house the day before. He was asked a variety of questions, and he found an answer to each of them. However, there was a place in his speech as a positive part:
- I would like to say that I am happy to join you when you hold this film festival and congratulate all the aspiring artists, screenwriters, directors, and cinematographers who have come together for the third time after this revived event here in Uzbekistan. I spent a few days, and had time to see Tashkent and this extremely ancient and beautiful city of Samarkand," said Kevin.
There was room for a minor, personal part with a happy ending:
- As I was looking at the unique patterns of the Gur-Emir Mausoleum in Samarkand, my left arm failed. I was taken to a modern medical facility in the historic city. There I was quickly treated and fortunately, nothing serious happened. I was pleasantly surprised that Samarkand has such qualified doctors. Human life is very fragile and short, so everyone should live together and support each other," Kevin said.
He also emphasized that it is important to do projects and create opportunities for the new generation of specialists.
- I think what's great is that you have a foundation, a kind of pillar of three ideas behind this festival, which are peace, progress, and enlightenment. These are all great ideas. The workshops that have taken place have allowed professionals to help young aspiring filmmakers learn and grow. I know how incredibly important this is because I myself grew up in programs like this when I first discovered film. I was able to see the greats that I admired on the screen, my idols: Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Preston Sturges, Al Pacino, I was inspired, and so it's incredible work that you're doing here, especially for young people, because I'm told that at least 60% of the population here in Uzbekistan is young. Maybe there are filmmakers here today whose films will one day make it to the big screen, and some little boy or little girl sitting in the theater will be inspired. And I have to say that it's extraordinary that the Central Asian region is coming together, working together, and giving this opportunity to so many people. You should be proud of the work that you're doing, and I'm honored to stand here with you today and support you.
Samarkand deputy governor Rustam Kobilov, who took the stage, noted that this is a city with many thousands of years of history. It is no coincidence that the closing ceremony of the XV Tashkent International Film Festival "Pearl of the Silk Road" was held here.
- Unique films in the history of Uzbek cinema were shot in Samarkand. In addition, Samarkand still has many undiscovered sides about which many films can be made. Our current guests have also touched upon these aspects. We think that the film festival will lead to the opening of new cinemas in Samarkand and the development of the film industry in the near future. We are always ready to host such large-scale events in the field of cinema, art and culture in Samarkand.
During the closing ceremony, a special award was also given to director Ali Khamraev for "Taste of Melon".
- I am very happy that our beautiful festival has come to Samarkand, - said Ali Khamraev. - This city is always in my heart. We shot our movie with great love for this city and this people, tried to show the soul of these great people who live in Samarkand. I have received different awards, but this award is especially dear to me, it is from the people of Samarkand.
Director of the Cinematography Agency Firdavs Abdukhalikov thanked the guests and participants, and emphasized the significant role of the film festival. It was held for five days, more than 60 master classes were organized with the participation of maestros of cinematography, they were attended by about six thousand people.
During the festival, foreign maestros were awarded for their great contribution to the development of world cinema: directors Alexander Sokurov, Irakli Kvirikadze, Pietro Marcello.
- During the closing ceremony the director of the film "Matonat" Shukhrat Makhmudov was awarded with a special award of the Samarkand region government.
- Director Mukhiddin Muzaffar was recognized with a special award of the Tashkent International Film Festival Directorate for his film "Fortuna" (Tajikistan).
- Shakhnoza Burkhaniddinova, representative of TURKSOY, and Mayra Karsakbaeva, Advisor to the Secretary General of this international organization, received a special award "Oltin Yulduz" - "Golden Star".
- Sakhisalik Bayramov from Turkmenistan received a special award "Golden Star" of the international Turkish cultural organization TURKSOY for the film "Takdir Darakhti" - "Tree of Destiny".
- Aktan Arym Kubat from Kyrgyzstan was recognized with a special award "Oltin Tulpor" - "Golden Horse" of the Association of Cinematographers of the Turkic World.
In the main part of the award ceremony, the jury - maestros of foreign cinematography - was presented. They evaluated the Central Asian films and included Semih Kaplanoglu (Turkey), Julia D'Anollo Vallan (USA), Irakli Kvirikadze (Georgia), Christiana Büchner (Germany) and the chairman of the committee - Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland).
Jury honored a total of 11 films submitted to the Central Asian Film Competition.
1. "Ademokaning sabogi" - "Ademoka's Lesson" (directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan)
2. "Brothers" (directed by Darkhan Tulegenov, Kazakhstan)
3. "Desert" (directed by Maxim Akbarov, Kazakhstan)
4. "Belek" (directed by Dalmira Tilepbergen, Kyrgyzstan)
5. "The Smell of Wormwood" (directed by Aibek Daiyrbekov, Kyrgyzstan)
6. "I Remember" (directed by Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan)
7. "Fortuna" (directed by Mukhiddin Muzaffar, Tajikistan).
8. "The Tree of Destiny" (directed by Sakhisalikh Bayramov, Turkmenistan) 9.
9. "Evrilish" (directed by Yalkin Tuychiev, Uzbekistan).
10. "Sunday" (directed by Shakir Khalikov, Uzbekistan).
11. "Uzbekchka" (directed by Akbar Bekturdiev, Uzbekistan).
Italian director Petro Marcello named the winner in the Best Debut category - Maxim Akbarov from Kazakhstan with the film "Desert".
Argentine actress Paula Carruega announced the winner in the Best Actor nomination - Dastan Aibek from Kyrgyzstan for his role in the movie "Shovak Hidi").
In the Best Actor nomination, which went out to represent French actor Samy Naceri, the winner was Taalaikan Abazova from Kyrgyzstan for her dramatic role in the movie "I Remember".
The award in the nomination "Best Director" was presented by the famous Georgian director Irakli Kvirikadze and it went to the director of the movie "Brothers" Darkhan Tulegenov.
In the nomination "Special Jury Prize" the award was presented by the famous Polish film director, chairman of the jury Krzysztof Zanussi. It was awarded to Ademoka's Lesson director Adilkhan Erzhanov from Kazakhstan.
Serbian actor Emir Kusturica had the honor of announcing "Best Film" and the nomination was won by the film "Sunday" by compatriot, director Shakir Khalikov.
At the end of the film festival on behalf of the participants of the guest countries presented an address to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, it was read by Italian film critic Olga Strada, after which the flag of the film festival was lowered.
This year's ceremony brought a lot of emotions for the participants of a whole series of various events. During these five years, there were joyful moments for the winners, as well as rich meetings with famous representatives of the film industry, and a rich program of film screenings of directors from foreign countries. It was also a good opportunity for the audience to see interesting and unusual films, learn new names among directors, and empathize with the characters on the screen together. The XV Tashkent International Film Festival "Pearl of the Silk Road" completes its work and takes time out for a year to surprise, enlighten and inspire again in 2024.