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Astana, Kazakhstan • 24 August, 2023 | 15:46

New Project Unlocks Legacy of Kazakh Cinema

Zaman.Media aims to make Kazakh cinema archives accessible to everyone

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Collage by QazMonitor (stills from Dombi and Son)
Collage by QazMonitor (stills from Dombi and Son)

On August 25, the Astana-based initiative will unveil the Zaman.Media project, a web archive dedicated to preserving and providing open access to the history of Kazakh cinema, QazMonitor reports.

Attendees can look forward to comprehensive insights from the Vosmerka team into the project's current status and a thorough exploration of its upcoming phases. Additionally, the organizers have a special treat in store for the audience – a screening of the rare short film Dombi and Son, a diploma project by students from the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography, dating back to 1946. This cinematic rarity showcases the work of the acclaimed Kazakh actress Lyailya Galimzhanova.

The event will take place on August 25 at 3 p.m. in the Library of the First President, located at Alikhan Bokeykhan Street 10A. Entry is free.

Zaman.Media will function as a web resource, housing digitized materials dedicated to the national cinema. This includes biographies, filmographies, rare photos, as well as video and audio recordings. The goal is to provide comprehensive information about authors, movies, and events, catering to the interests of anyone seeking to learn more.

Yevgeniy Lumpov, one of the project's creators, shared that as the team delved into Kazakh cinema history, the need for preservation became evident. Until now, general access to these materials has not been that easy.

"The necessity for this kind of work became apparent in 2018 when we received numerous requests from ordinary Kazakh viewers after the return of the first film by Mazhit Begalin from the Gosfilmofond (State Film Fund of Russia). They were asking us to search for specific films or to find information about certain creators – directors, artists, actors, and cameramen," explained Lumpov.

It has taken several years to develop the structure and strategy of the project. With the launch of a website and social media accounts, Zaman.Media aims to build an engaged audience of like-minded individuals. The team is currently planning the release of original content.

At this stage, we are focusing on the Soviet era of Kazakh cinematography history, as both the people and archive materials from that time are, in [post-Soviet] cinema lingo ‘vanishing scenery’. In the future, our focus will shift to the period of Independence, and work in that direction is already underway.

Alexandra Porshneva, the coordinator of the project's archival service
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