The feature film “Ulbolsyn” directed by Adilkhan Yerzhanov won the main prize in the Work-In-Progress section at the 26th Sarajevo Film Festival. This film festival, based in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was held online this year from 14 to 21 August.
The film was shot this winter in the Almaty region. The production company is Sunny Production (Kazakhstan) with the participation of Short Brothers (Kazakhstan) and Arizona Productions (France) companies. The film is in the post-production stage today.
The main character of Yerzhanov’s new work is strong-willed and determined Ulbolsyn. She lives in the city. Her younger sister Azhar is going to graduate from school in the village of Karatas. Ulbolsyn has big plans for the future of her beloved sister – she saved enough money so that Azhar could enter a prestigious foreign university, which would allow her to make a good career and become free and independent. However, when Ulbolsyn comes to Karatas for Azhar, she discovers that the girl was kidnapped by the local healer Urgen, a highly respected person in the village. He is going to make Azhar his ‘tokal’ – the younger wife. But Ulbolsyn does not intend to leave it this way, and she decisively enters the struggle with the patriarchal world of Karatas …
The general producer of the film is Assel Sadvakassova, who also plays Ulbolsyn in the film. As a reminder, Sadvakassova previously produced two more works by Yerzhanov – “Atbai’s Fight” and “Yellow Cat”. The role of Ulbolyn’s sister, Azhar, is played by the young actress Dinara Sagi. Actor Yerbolat Alkozha plays the healer Urgen. The film also features actors Berik Aitzhanov, Sanjar Madi and Daniyar Alshinov. It is noteworthy that Alshinov appears in the episode in the role of detective Bekzat – his character from the film “A Dark, Dark Man”. Yerzhan Dzhamankulov, Nurbek Mukushev and Yerken Gubashev, who are constantly collaborating with the director, also star in the film.
“It always seemed to me that women are stronger than men in everything – in morality, in feelings. And it was a pleasure for me to create a strong heroine in this film. I think that Ulbolsyn and Assel Sadvakassova, who plays her, are united by a certain inner core, they are both strong women, ”said Adilkhan Yerzhanov.
“Ulbolsyn” is the first experience of cooperation between director Yerzhanov and DoP Azamat Dulatov. The script was written by Adilkhan Yerzhanov himself. Producers – Serik Abishev and Olga Khlasheva. Co-Producer – Guillaume de Ciel. Associate Producer – Philip Cheah. Production designer – Yermek Utegenov. The composer is Alua Orentai.