By its dynamism and, above all, the development of its film industry, be it in terms of production or distribution and exhibition, Kazakhstan is now among today's emerging, attractive countries in the cinema landscape. With more than ten feature films produced each year, nearly 200 theaters (of which 1/3 are digital), and an annual tally of a little over 10 million spectators for 15 million inhabitants, this country stands out as an exception among the republics of Central Asia.
French films, historically very present in the URSS, are always well attended in the country's theaters. Audiences' enthusiasm for our cinema inspired uniFrance to organize, in close collaboration with the highly dynamic Arman theater in Almaty, French Cinema Today to accompany releases. The Arman is the only theater that is a member of the Europa-Cinemas network in this region.
During the previous two editions, the official aim was to only promote French films that an exhibitor-distributor partner commited to release after the event. This year, the reinforcement of French cinema's presence in the country and the coincidences of timing mean that 5 of the 7 selected films are ensured a national release within three weeks of the festival French Cinema Today in Kazakhstan - 2012.
Added to which, for the first time in the cinematographic history of this country, independent for twenty-one years, a Kazakh exhibitor-distributor has bought a film (The Assault) directly from a French exporter - this at a time when all foreign films released in Kazakhstan are bought, for the whole CEI region, by Russian distributors, who then sell the rights republic by republic. Apart from the three Baltic country members of the European Union, who were the first to free themselves from their great Russian neighbor, only a few Ukranian distributors have managed to acquire titles without passing by Moscow. So this is a first first step that deserves to be applauded.
The selection of films bought by Russian distributors :
- The Intouchables opens the festival on April 19, screening in the presence of Anne Le Ny,
- The Chef, screening in the presence of Daniel Cohen
- Ligne droite
The film bought directly by Arman, the Kazakh exhibitor-distributor:
- The Assault
2 films yet to be bought:
- The Minister, screening in the presence of Zabou Breitman
- 38 Witnesses, screening in the presence of Natacha Régnier
+ The Short Film Evening showcasing 27 films spread across 4 programs.