Festivals: call for entries

Kyrgyz Serial: The contest of scripts (2023_3_kg)

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival currently looking for projects for Works in Progress selection

Work in Progress 2023:

At this event, producers and directors from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa will introduce new films that will premiere after the Karlovy Vary IFF.


Kyrgyz Serial: The contest of scripts (2023_2_kg)
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

Cinema Department: new competition for the film about Kojomkul

Kojomkul was born in the Suusamyr valley in 1889 and died in 1955 at the age of 66. As an adult he stood 2.3m tall (7 feet 5 inches) and weighed 164kg (nearly 26 stone). Encouraged by his superhuman size and strength, he participated in many competitive bouts of strength in his youth. On one occasion, he took part in a wrestling competition in the Toktogul area where he beat many better-known wrestlers and won the prize of 50 sheep and several mares, which he is said to have distributed to the poor of his village. By the late 1920s there was no-one to rival him in Kyrgyzstan, and in the region as a whole the only challenge came from the Kazakh wrestler Cholok Balaban who he eventually fought and beat in the 23rd minute of an inter-republic wrestling contest.


Following the revolution and the region's inclusion in the USSR, Kojomkul adapted well to Soviet ways and served as chairman of the Suusamyr valley collective farm for over 20 years. However, during this time he was forced to spend 1 year in prison as a result of his unwillingness to write a damning testimony against the chairman of a neighbouring collective farm. His 'gentle giant' reputation grew further in prison where he became widely respected by prisoners and guards alike. Later, during World War II, he is reputed to have provided many poor villagers with food thanks to his skills at hunting.


His death in 1955 is surrounded by uncertainty although one version, with echoes of the David and Goliath legend, suggests that it was an insect that had crept into his food that caused him to fall ill and die. His memory is still revered in the village and it is widely believed that it was Kojomkul's spirit that protected the village in 1992 when the earthquake hit, badly damaging property throughout the valley but claiming no lives.