On February 6, 2020, a new feature film “A Dark, Dark Man” directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov will be released in Kazakhstan. The film was created by “Short Brothers” (Kazakhstan) with the participation of “Arizona Productions” (France). This dramatic thriller tells the story of a detective Bekzat (Daniyar Alshinov), who wants to close a murder case as soon as possible, because the perpetrator - a harmless local moron Pukuar (Teoman Khos) - has already been found by local policemen. But everything falls apart when a journalist Ariana (Dinara Baktybaeva) comes from the city. Now Bekzat must conduct a real investigation, following procedure, for the first time in his career.
The world premiere of “A Dark, Dark Man” took place on September 23, 2019, in Spain. The film was shown as part of the main competition program of the 67th International Film Festival in San Sebastian. The San Sebastian International Film Festival is one of the oldest Class A film festivals in the world (along with Cannes, Berlin and Venice).
The film was very well received by the world press: it was called “beautiful, ironic, sophisticated”, “a fascinating auteur thriller”. The press noted its “harsh splendor". One of the most prestigious movie magazines in the world, Variety, published a review of the film, calling it “a brilliant, diamond-hard film noir”, “a staggeringly controlled, slow-burn scorcher of a crime thriller”.
In November 2019, Adilkhan Yerzhanov was awarded the “Asia Pacific Screen Awards-2019” (Asian Oscar) in the nomination “Achievement in Directing” for “A Dark, Dark Man”. He is the first director from Kazakhstan who has won the APSA in this nomination. His competitors were such famous directors as Lav Diaz (Philippines), Wang Xiaoshuai (China), Elia Suleiman (Palestine) and Anocha Suvichakornpong (Thailand). The Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) is one of the world's largest film awards which is sponsored by the UNESCO and the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations).
As a reminder, last year “A Dark-Dark Man” (working title “Kuandyk”) won the pitching of projects at the Almaty Film Festival.
Adilkhan Yerzhanov and Roelof Jan Minneboo worked on the script. The producer for international promotion is Olga Khlasheva, the executive producer is Serik Abishev, both collaborated with Yerzhanov on all his films. The DoP is Aydar Sharipov from Russia, he also worked with Yerzhanov on the film “The Gentle Indifference of the World”. The production designer is another permanent associate of the director, Yermek Utegenov, who worked with Adilkhan Yerzhanov on his 7 films. The music for the film was created by the famous musician Galymzhan Moldanazar.
“This film is about a protagonist, who changes and becomes a man. A classic story that has already been told many times. But it is always interesting, so it excites me. This is a kind of anti-detective. Most importantly here is not who committed the murder, but how the protagonist solves his internal conflict,” - said Adilkhan Yerzhanov.
“I think this film is our common great success. The atmosphere at the set was amazing, and that was because of a great work of the director Adilkhan Yerzhanov. I was impressed from the very first moment when he told me about the path of my hero. I said: “That’s perfect for me! My dream role!” – commented the lead actor Daniyar Alshinov.
“This is one of my favorite films of Adilkhan Yerzhanov. A very deep and darkly atmospheric film that immerses you in its world from the first seconds. This work on the role of Ariana made me discover new things about myself, and this is an invaluable experience for me as an actress. I am happy to be part of this project. And I am glad that Kazakh audience will see it!” - said Dinara Baktybayeva.
“The film was received with great interest at prestigious international film festivals. We had a big world premiere in the main competition program of one of the oldest Class A film festivals in the world - the San Sebastian International Film Festival. Then “A Dark, Dark Man” was immediately invited to the programs of several other significant film festivals in Busan (South Korea), Norway, Turkey and Kerala (India). In November, Adilkhan Yerzhanov received one of the most prestigious awards in the world - the Asia Pacific Screen Awards for achievement in directing. And we already have planned to participate in other six major film festivals around the world in 2020,” - said Olga Khlasheva, international promotion producer of the film.
The film distribution company in Kazakhstan is Meloman Entertainment, which released the previous film Adilkhan Yerzhanov “The Gentle Indifference of the World”.